UK 4G Auction Falls Short
News Analysis Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief 2/20/2013
Following a relatively short process, the U.K. 4G spectrum auction is over, with all four existing mobile network operators, plus BT Group plc, securing new spectrum licenses for a total outlay of £2.34 billion (US$3.58 billion), regulator Ofcom announced early Wednesday. The outcome delivers few surprises, though the financial details raise some interesting questions. The winners are (in order of fees paid):
- Vodafone Group plc -- £790.8 million for 2 x 10MHz in 800MHz band, 2 x 20MHz in 2.6GHz band and 1 x 25MHz in 2.6GHz band (unpaired).
- Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE) -- £588.9 million for 2 x 5MHz in 800MHz band and 2 x 35MHz in 2.6GHz band.
- Telefónica UK Ltd. -- £550 million for 2 x 10MHz in 800MHz band (this is the license with coverage obligation -- see below)
- Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. (3) -- £225 million for 2 x 5MHz in the 800MHz band.
- Niche Spectrum Ventures (a BT subsidiary) -- £186.5 million for 2 x 15MHz in the 2.6GHz band and 1 x 20MHz in the 2.6GHz (unpaired).
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