This morning UK telecom regulator Ofcom outlined a plan for wireless auctions, reports GigOm. The big news; the spectrum will be technology agnostic. In total 215 MHz will be available — a huge chunk of spectrum.
Cellular companies were hoping to exclude competing technologies like WiMAX. But now competing companies may use the spectrum for WiMAX, mobile TV, mobile broadcast or 3G. Ofcom is asking for a consultation period until March 2007.
Ofcom says the three bands that will be available are: 2010-2025 MHz, 2290-2300 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz. Ofcom proposes to release the spectrum though two separate auctions.
- The bands 2500-2690 MHz, 2010-2025 MHz will be packaged into a number of lots and auctioned together. Participants will be able to bid for multiple lots. The auction will be conducted online using a secure server and there will be a number of rounds to the auction.
- The bands 2290-2300 MHz will be packaged as a single lot and auctioned though a sealed bid process.
The government is unlikely to get anywhere near what they did in the original 3G auctions conducted in 2000, which nearly bankrupt many cellular companies in Europe when “3G” was slow to take off.
Paging Craig…paging Craig McCaw…