LONDON Ofcom has set March 21, 2006 as the provisional date for applications for a spectrum auction which will comprise a single round of sealed bids for the award of between seven and 12 low-power licences. These will be technology and application neutral.
It has now made the four statutory instruments relevant to this award, ahead of an auction which will take place during March and April.
In January 2005 Ofcom proposed a number of awards across a wide range of the spectrum and in July consulted on the first of these – the spectrum band 1781.7-1785MHz paired with 1876.7-1880MHz. It received a number of responses and in November it published further proposals related to the award along with an Information Memorandum.
A number of organisations have expressed interest in acquiring a licence to use these bands, suggesting a number of different applications that might be made possible by access to this spectrum. One example that has been given is the operation of private GSM networks in office buildings or campuses, as most mobile phones in current use can tune to these frequencies.
Ofcom is the regulator for the U.K. communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications service.