On 27 April 2021, Ofcom announced the final results of the UK’s 2021 5G (700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands) spectrum auction. The auction raised £1.379 bn pounds, only slightly higher than the £1.1bn reserve price.
At the end of the assignment stage (27 April 2021), Ofcom granted the following UK spectrum licences:
- EE Limited – 723-733 MHz and 778-788 MHz; 738-758 MHz; and 3680-3720 MHz
- Hutchison 3G UK Limited – 713-723 MHz and 768-778 MHz
- Telefónica UK Limited – 703-713 MHz and 758-768 MHz; and 3760-3800 MHz
- Vodafone Limited – 3720-3760 MHz
The auction had a number of stages:
- the principal bidding stage, which determined the amount of spectrum each bidder secured
- the subsequent assignment stage, which allowed companies to bid for specific frequency positions (which increases utility and efficiency of spectrum use)
- a further negotiation period (which starts now that the assignment stage has finished) which allows successful bidders to negotiate further spectrum trades
The winning bidders now have the opportunity to negotiate further spectrum trades, which will then need to be formally notified to Ofcom.