Ofcom is due to auction frequencies that will enable a range of services such as mobile WiMAX, mobile TV, and alternative 3G networks. The British communications regulator plans to put up three bands — 2500-2690 MHz, 2010-2025 MHz and 2290-2300 MHz and in total 215 MHz — for public sale and has sought proposals from industry and interested parties for the event. The period for consultation will last through March 9, 2007. The agency also revealed it is retaining the services of consulting firms DotEcon and Analysis for the auction.
The consultation document states plans to release the spectrum through two separate auctions. The agency looks to package bands 2500-2690 MHz and 2010-2025 MHz into several lots and would allow bidders to make an offer for multiple lots in an online auction, which will use a secure server. Auction for bands 2290-2300 MHz will be bundled into a single lot and will be carried out through a sealed bid process.
The move forms part of a broader program to free some 400MHz of spectrum in the next few years, which, according to Ofcom CEO Ed Richards, “will create new opportunities for innovation in wireless technologies, promoting competition and driving convergence.” The agency also proposed to auction spectrum freed up by the analog-to-digital television switchover. It is expected to announce a consultation on this soon.