EE Gains 3.5 GHz Spectrum in U.K. Mobile Services Auction
Friday, April 13, 2018 | Comments

EE was allocated 3.54 – 3.58 GHz spectrum in the U.K. 4G and 5G airwaves auction, paying an additional £1 million (US$1.4 million) from the assignment stage. EE won the 40 megahertz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302.6 million (US$431.4 million) in the assignment stage.

The four companies taking part in the auction paid a total of nearly £1.37 billion (US$1.95 billion) with all money raised from the auction being paid to HM Treasury. The winning bidders have been issued licenses to use their relevant spectrum holdings.

Last week, Ofcom announced which companies had won the right to use spectrum in two bands through the principal stage of the auction, and the amounts they would pay. This week Ofcom concluded the assignment stage of the auction, which allows companies that won the right to use spectrum in the principal stage to bid to determine where in the frequency bands their new spectrum rights will be located.

In 2015, EE won the contract for the U.K. Emergency Services Network (ESN), a nationwide public-safety LTE network to replace the country TETRA mission-critical voice network.

In a statement, the carrier said the new spectrum will allow it to put 5G services into place. “The acquisition of 40 megahertz of 3.4 GHz spectrum positions us well for our launch of future 5G services and consolidates our position as one of the world’s leading providers of communications services,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division. “With this outcome, we’ll continue to roll out the fastest 4G service to consumers and businesses across the U.K. and now look ahead to the potential new services that 5G will offer, keeping our nation at the forefront of digital communications.”

Hutchison 3G UK was allocated the frequencies 3.46 – 3.48 GHz, paying an additional £13.1 million (US$18.7 million) from the assignment stage. The carrier paid £151.3 million (US$215.7 million) in the principal stage.

Telefónica UK Limited gained 2.35 – 2.39 GHz and 3.5 – 3.54 GHz frequencies, and Vodafone was allocated 3.41 – 3.46 GHz spectrum. There were no assignment stage bids for the 3.4 GHz frequencies awarded to Telefónica UK and Vodafone, and they were not required to pay additional fees from the assignment stage.

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