On 23 January, Ofcom announced the commencement of the primary bid stage of the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum. The availability of these new bands of spectrum will almost double the amount of airwaves currently available for mobile broadband services on smartphones, tablets and laptops. There are seven bidders taking part in the auction: Everything Everywhere, HKT (UK) (a subsidiary of PCCW), Hutchinson 3G, MLL Telecom, Niche Spectrum Ventures (a subsidiary of BT Group), Telefónica UK and Vodafone. The bidding will consist of several rounds and is expected to take a number of weeks until the final winners are confirmed. No details of the bidding activities will be published until the conclusion of the auction. The news follows previous publication by Ofcom of guidance for parties on the final regulations for the auction.

For more information, please go to http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-awards/