The UK’s four leading mobile networks have committed to pay a combined £1.356bn in Ofcom’s latest broadband spectrum auction.
Communications regulator Ofcom released a total of 200 MHz of spectrum, in a move which will increase the total amount of spectrum available for mobile technology in the UK by nearly a fifth.
EE, Vodafone, Three and 02 took part in the principal stage of the auction, and each secured at least two of the 34 ‘lots’ made available across two different frequency bands: 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz.
According to Ofcom, the 700 MHz band is “ideal for wide-area coverage including the countryside” while the 3.6-3.8 GHz airwaves are primarily for 5G.
EE was the biggest spender, picking up 40 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £284m and a further 40MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a cost of £168m.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer business, said: “EE has secured vital new spectrum in this auction which, when rolled out into the network, will allow us to grow our position as the UK’s number one 5G network.”
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