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Full details of the UK's latest 5G spectrum auction are confirmed

Ofcom logo.
(Image credit: Ofcom.)

Following the recent spectrum auctions in the UK that raised £1.3bn in March, the full details of which companies secured spectrum, and exactly how much they paid, have been released by Ofcom.

A total of 200 MHz of spectrum was available to bid for in the auction, split across two bands: 80 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band and 120 MHz of spectrum in 3.6-3.8 GHz band. This principle stage of the auction involved the UK’s four leading mobile network operators (MNOs), which bid for airwaves in 34 ‘lots’.

”This triples the amount of low frequency spectrum we own and will have a transformative effect on our customers’ experience indoors and in rural areas."

Robert Finnegan, Three.

“We are delighted to have won two 10MHz blocks of low frequency spectrum at the auction,”  said Robert Finnegan, CEO at Three, following the spectrum auction. ”This triples the amount of low frequency spectrum we own and will have a transformative effect on our customers’ experience indoors and in rural areas. Coupled with our existing low frequency spectrum and the UK’s largest 5G spectrum holding, we are in a fantastic position to deliver a great network experience for our customers now and in the future.”

5G spectrum auction details

EE Limited, Hutchison 3G UK Limited, Telefónica UK Limited and Vodafone Limited  all purchased significant spectrum to expand their 5G networks to more locations and offer stronger signals.And the results were are as follows:

Winning bidderFrequenciesLicence fee paid
EE Limited723-733 MHz and 778-788 MHz£475,000,000
738-758 MHz
3680-3720 MHz
Hutchison 3G UK Limited713-723 MHz and 768-778 MHz£280,000,000
Telefónica UK Limited703-713 MHz and 758-768 MHz£448,000,000
3760-3800 MHz
Vodafone Limited3720-3760 MHz £176,400,000

“This auction will boost our 5G network capacity,” said Ahmed Essam, chief executive at Vodafone UK. “It means we will have the spectrum we need to further the roll-out of 5G to our customers, bringing high speed connectivity and opening up new opportunities for products and services.

“We have been successful in the 3.6 GHz band and have avoided expenditure on low band spectrum, where it is our strategy to refarm over time our significant 900 MHz holdings to carry 5G traffic,” continued Essam.

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.