Ofcom completes UK 5G spectrum auction

Ofcom has today announced the outcome of the principal stage of its auction to release airwaves for 4G mobile and future 5G services in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands. In the auction, Vodafone spent the most of all operators, O2 acquired all of the available spectrum at 2.3GHz and and BT/EE's share of spectrum fell as per the auction rules.

Matthew Howett, Founder & Principal Analyst at Assembly comments:

"Despite Three having made the most noise about the rules of the auction, it was perhaps O2 that had the most to lose, being the operator that probably needed more spectrum the most. The outcome is a particularly good result for them.

Even though the auction raised a fraction of the amount of the 4G auction or even the 3G auction two decades ago, the prices paid are above expectation which shows how valuable these airwaves are to operators, particularly given the emerging hype around 5G. 

However an unsatisfactory outcome in this auction was never going to necessarily spell the end to any one operators 5G future given that the technology will ultimately work across a number of spectrum bands, both new ones and ones already held by the mobile operators."

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