Ofcom to sell extra spectrum

Ofcom to sell extra spectrum

Licences will cover wireless broadband and mobile services

Ofcom is auctioning radio spectrum licences between 400Mhz and 3GHz for use in wireless broadband and mobile services.

The UK communications regulator hopes the spectrum will be used to help new technologies such as mobile TV, wireless internet systems like WiMax and digital satellite radio using the S-DAB standard.

Gartner analyst Daren Siddall says the move could be partly aimed at keeping the 2007 analogue switch off technology neutral, but maximising profit will be one of the watchdog's main motives.

'They are going to be keen to offer the bandwidth to whichever technology will give them the greatest return, maximising the money eventually received by the Treasury,' he said.

'Spectrum is a limited commodity so companies involved will have to spend whatever it takes to secure their place in the business or mobile and wireless technologies.'

Ofcom warns that the spectrum it is selling is restricted by international plans agreed in 2002, however it says the current constraints are unnecessary and has promised to work have them lifted.