5G spectrum auction to go ahead after Three’s legal challenge fails

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Ofcom’s upcoming auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum can go ahead as planned after Three failed in its bid to decrease a proposed cap on the amount of airwaves any single operator can hold in the Court of Appeal.

The sale of 40MHz worth of 2.3GHz airwaves, which can be used right away to support existing 4G services, and 150MHz of 3.4GHz of bandwidth that is earmarked for 5G in 2020 had been delayed by legal challenges by both BT-EE and Three.

Ofcom intends to limit any one operator to just 255MHz of ‘immediately usable’ spectrum (800MHz, 900MHz, 1400MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2.6GHz) and 340MHz of all airwaves available in the UK. This is in effect a cap of 37 per cent.

Ofcom 5G auction

BT-EE already has 255MHz so would be banned from bidding for the 2.3GHz band, but is free to compete for the 3.4GHz spectrum. Vodafone has 176MHz so would be limited to 85MHz of each, while Three and O2 have no restrictions.

Three wanted this lowered to 30 percent and launched a legal challenge, an act which spurred EE, which had grudgingly accepted the limits, to also challenge the proposals. Ofcom’s cap was upheld in December and now Three’s appeal has been dismissed.

This article was sourced fromTechRadar

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