Ofcom has completed its auction for slices of the 4G spectrum, although raising £2.3bn, it was expected to raise £3.5bn. The winning bidders include EE, O2, BT and Vodaphone.
Interestingly the auction in 2000 for 3G frequencies netted £22bn, clearly 4G didn’t get as much love. The below table shows how the frequency spectrum is currently divided.
|Below 800 MHz||Radio navigation, transport communications, commercial radio||Various|
|800 MHz||Old analogue television frequency, auctioned for 4G||EE, Hutchison 3G, O2, Vodafone|
|900 MHz||Original 2G frequency, now also used for 3G||O2, Vodafone|
|1.8 GHz||Original 2G frequency, now also used for 3G and 4G (EE only)||O2, Vodafone, EE|
|2.1 GHz||3G frequency created in 2000||O2, Vodafone, EE, Three|
|2.3 GHz||Military radio communications, slated to be auctioned for 4G in 2014||Ministry of Defence|
|2.4 GHz||Household devices, such as wi-fi, bluetooth, cordless phones, microwave ovens||None designated (often resulting in local interference)|
|2.6 GHz||Auctioned for 4G||EE, Hutchison 3G, Niche Spectrum Ventures, O2, Vodafone|
|3.5 GHz||Military radar, slated to be auctioned for 4G in 2014||Ministry of Defence|
|Above 3.5 GHz||Radar, satellite communications||Various|
The 4G auction included two bands, 800MHz and 2.6GHz, equal to about two-thirds of the radio frequencies used by wireless devices.
Of all the ‘winners’ Vodaphone got the most although paid a lot for the privilege. A bid of £791m got them five frequency ranges, three of which are in the higher 2.6GHz area. [bbc]