Three and EE lose High Court fight over 5G spectrum auction

From Engadget - December 20, 2017

Ofcom has 190 MHz of spectrum to sell across two bands40 MHz in a 2.3GHz band and 150 MHz in a 3.4GHz band. The former is usable "immediately" and would help all of the major networks to improve their 4G coverage, while the latter is pivotal to the long-awaited introduction of 5G services. Ofcom's plan is to place a cap of 255 MHz on "immediately useable" spectrum, which would block BT and EE from making any bids on the 2.3 GHz band. A second cap of 340 MHz will be placed on all mobile spectrum, limiting BT to a maximum of 85 MHz on the 3.4GHz band.

"I reject the argument of H3G that the balance struck was too generous to BT/EE and I also reject the argument of BT/EE that it was too tight and rigid," the High Court said in a statement. As the Financial Times reports, both networks could appeal the decision. Otherwise, the auction should finally go ahead. "We welcome the High Court's judgment," the regulator said in a statement. "Our priority has always been to release these airwaves as soon as possible so customers can get more reliable mobile phone reception. We will now proceed with the auction as quickly as possible."


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