UK comms regulator Ofcom holds the duty to secure optimum use of the radio spectrum. Crucial to achieving this is the release of available spectrum to the market, which is usually done via an auction. Today telecoms giant Vodafone UK confirmed that in the principal round of the spectrum auction, it has acquired spectrum of 2 x 10MHz in the 800MHz band and 2 x 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band plus an additional 25 MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band. The spectrum licences were all of an indefinite length being for an initial 20 year term, and the total payable amount is £790m.
Through release of spectrum through an auction, Ofcom achieves its purpose of promoting strong competition in the 4G mobile market, driving forward development of faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices, greater innovation, new investment and better coverage. In turn, the spectrum award will support Vodafone UK’s plans to develop the next generation of mobile internet services, known as 4G, using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence said:
We’ve secured the low frequency mobile phone spectrum that will support the launch of our ultra-fast 4G service later this year. It will enable us to deliver services where people really want it, especially indoors. This is great news for our customers. The next generation of mobile internet services will bring real benefits to both consumers and businesses.