EE and O2/Telefonica were the largest spenders with bids above 448 million GBP (523.6 million EUR)
Ofcom announced the completion of the principal stage of its rescheduled multiband auction for mobile services and 5G. The four UK MNOs secured the 200 MHz for sale in the two bands (60 MHz in 700 MHz frequencies and 120 MHz in 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum), with the state raising a total of 1.356 billion GBP (1.58 billion EUR), beating the reserve prices. EE and O2/Telefonica were the largest spenders with bids above 448 million GBP (523.6 million EUR)
- EE bid for a total of 452 million GBP (528 million EUR) broken down into two lots in the 700 MHz spectrum and one 3.6-3.8 GHz portion:
- 280 million GBP (327.3 million EUR) for 2×10 MHz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band,
- 4 million GBP (4.7 million EUR), for an additional 20 MHz block of supplementary downlink (SDL) spectrum in the same band,
- and 168 million GBP (196.4 million EUR) for 40 MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band.
- O2 UK secured frequencies paying 280 million GBP (327.3 million EUR) for 2×10 MHz paired in the 700 MHz band and 168 million GBP (196.4 million EUR) for 40 MHz in the higher band.
- Vodafone UK did not bid for 700 MHz spectrum. It offered 176.4 million GBP (206.1 million EUR) for a 40 MHz block of spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band
- Three UK did not bid for additional mid-band spectrum as it already owns 140 MHz of spectrum in 3.5 GHz and only got 2 x 10 MHz of spectrum for a total amount of 280 million GBP (327.3 million EUR).
The sale will now move to the assignment stage in which the operators can bid for the frequency positions they prefer for the spectrum they secured in the principal stage.
The regulatory body placed a 37% cap on overall spectrum holdings, meaning limits on the amount certain operators could acquire at the auction. Furthermore, British operators developed a Shared Rural Network plan, which led to the removal of auction coverage requirements. All four operators have already launched initial 5G services in the country.