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Ofcom announces microwave spectrum auction details

Britannia sells the waves

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UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced details of its upcoming auctions of "high-frequency" spectrum. The preliminary deadline for applications to participate in the auctions has been set at 16 January 2008, to be confirmed before the Christmas break.

The bands to be sold off are the 10 GHz, 28 GHz, 32 GHz and 40 GHz ones, which are in the brackets known to radio dweebs as SHF and EHF (super-high and extremely-high frequencies) rather than high frequency (HF, which is actually one of the lower-frequency comms regimes, down below the UHF and VHF. Go figure.)

Ofcom says that the slots on offer "can carry large amounts of data over distances of up to 12 kilometres" and that they would be suitable "for organisations seeking to share wireless internet connections across buildings in close proximity", for example.

The licences will be tradable, and Ofcom will not make stipulations regarding what technology may be used or what services may be offered by licence holders. The regulator expects that the auction approach will stimulate the UK economic activity, 3 per cent of which it believes to consist of "use of the radio spectrum".

Ofcom intends no further consultation or seminars before proceeding with the auction. However, it will offer training in the use of its online auction system for those who want to participate.

Full details are available here

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