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Bidders for UK 5G spectrum auction revealed

(Image credit: Image Credit: Supparsorn / Shutterstock)

Ofcom has announced the companies that have qualified to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction (opens in new tab) that will be key to the rollout of 5G (opens in new tab) in the UK and to improving telecoms existing networks. 

The regulator will be making spectrum in two bands available to the companies selected to take part in the auction that it expects to begin in late March. 

Ofcom will auction off 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band which is compatible with today's current mobile devices and can be utilised immediately after the auction.  In addition, 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band will also be available for future use in the rollout of 5G across the UK and the rest of Europe. 

The regulator has faced backlash from Three and BT (opens in new tab) regarding the auction and now it plans to hold it as soon as possible. 

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, EE, Connexin, Hutchison 3G UK, Telefonica UK and Vodafone have all qualified to participate in Ofcom's upcoming auction and have three days to confirm whether or not they wish to participate. 

Ofcom's Spectrum Group Director, Philip Marnick explained why the regulator is working to hold the auction so quickly, saying: 

“We’re pressing ahead with the auction to make these airwaves available as quickly as possible. This will benefit today’s mobile users by providing more capacity for mobile broadband use. It will also pave the way for 5G - allowing operators to launch the next generation of mobile technology.”   

Image Credit: Supparsorn / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.