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Ofcom tempts bidders for 2.6GHz auction

How much high-speed wireless can you eat?

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Ofcom has laid out its plans for the largest UK spectrum auction yet, which it said will underpin the rollout of high-speed mobile broadband services.

The regulator is releasing 205MHz of spectrum in the 2010-2025MHz and 2500-2690MHz bands. It says this spectrum – dubbed 2.6GHZ - could be used for a number of purposes, but high-speed, high-capacity wireless data services over 3G and WiMAX are likely to be top of the list.

In line with its recent policy, the regulator said it will leave it down to the bidders how they actually use the spectrum, subject to minimal specs to prevent interference. The licences will be for a minimum of 20 years, and spectrum can be traded.

The minimum price for each chunk of spectrum will, in effect, be £100,000. All bidders will have to pony up a deposit for that amount before their bids are considered.

The details of the proposed auction are here. Once the details are finalised, bidding should get under way this summer. ®

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