UK Networks Formally Allocated 4G Licenses
The UK's telecoms regulator, Ofcom has formally allocated the 4G licenses from the recent auction, following a secondary spectrum assignment phase.
Last week, Ofcom announced which parties had won spectrum through the 'principal' stage of the auction, and the amounts they would pay. Ofcom has now concluded the final 'assignment' stage of the auction, in which parties who had won spectrum had the opportunity to 'top up' their bids, in order to reflect any preference they had over where in the frequency bands their new spectrum would be located.
As a result of this stage:
Niche Spectrum Ventures (a subsidiary of BT Group) has paid £15.06 million to be allocated the spectrum bands 2,520 to 2,535 MHz and 2,640 to 2,655 MHz.
Vodafone has paid £8.06 million to be allocated the spectrum bands 801 to 811 MHz and 842 to 852 MHz, and an additional £4,039,123 to be allocated the spectrum bands 2,500 to 2,520 MHz and 2,620 to 2,640 MHz.
None of the other winning bidders from the principal stage (Everything Everywhere, Hutchison 3G UK and Telefónica UK) is required to pay any further amounts as a result of the assignment stage.
Telefónica UK Ltd was not involved in the assignment stage. This was because the spectrum lot it won in the principal stage carried an obligation to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population, and the winner of this lot was automatically allocated the spectrum bands 811 to 821 MHz and 852 to 862 MHz, in accordance with the auction regulations.
The total amount paid as a result of the assignment stage is £27.16 million, which will be added to the £2.34 billion paid during the principal stage of the auction.
The winning bidders have today been issued with licences to use the relevant spectrum holdings, and are now free to deploy 4G networks subject to the conditions of those licences.