Coverage varies dramatically between cities and rural areas

UK regulator Ofcom has released its regulations and schedule for the auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum to be used for LTE services. The regulator has set a reserve price of £1.3bn for all available spectrum, including 2x15MHz of 1800Mz spectrum that Everything Everywhere is required to divest as part of the deal that saw it cleared to launch LTE at 1800MHz in October.

Bidders are required to submit applications by December 11th with an initial deposit, with approved applications scheduled to begin the bidding process in January. Ofcom said that successful bidders would be told in the February/March timeframe what they had won and how much it would cost them, with the licences then officially awarded.

The most expensive of the allocations, with a reserve price of £250m, offers bidders 2x10MHz of 800MHz spectrum but with a coverage obligation that is designed to guarantee deployment of LTE in rural areas currently underserved by fixed and mobile service.

Summary of Ofcom’s proposal for reserve prices

LotCategory A(i) A(ii) B C D(i) D(ii) E
Allocation 800MHz 2x 5MHz 800MHz 2x 10MHz 1800MHz 2x 15MHz 2.6GHz 2x 5MHz 2.6GHz 2x 10MHz 2.6GHz 2x 20MHz 2.6GHz 5MHz
ExtraInfo CoverageObligation Divestment Standardpower Shared low power Shared low power Un-paired
Ofcom proposal £225m £250m £225m £15m £3m per bidder (£30m threshold) £6m per bidder (60m threshold £0.1m

Source: Ofcom

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