Ofcom announces spectrum auction plans

Despite the enthusiasm of the European Commission for a single Europe-wide allocation of spectrum in the L band, the U.K. regulator Ofcom is planning to hold its own independent spectrum auctions. The L Band runs from 1452 to 1492MHz, putting it between the two most popular GSM frequencies--900 and 1800MHz--with much of the benefits of both.

After publishing its proposals last year, Ofcom has issued an Information Memorandum regarding the auction regulations which will come into force next month. Ofcom has decided to split the spectrum into two blocks, 1452 to 1479.5MHz and 1479.5 to 1492MHz, with the lower block split into 16 sections of 1.7MHz and the upper one sold as a single lot. A major problem facing Ofcom is that the L band spectrum has not been designated for any specific wireless service unlike the 2GHz frequency bands which were allocated for 3G WCDMA services only. The European Union is pushing for the spectrum to be reserved for DVB-H mobile television services across Europe but the mobile TV picture is so confused that this is unlikely to happen. The U.K. spectrum auction is scheduled to take place in May 2008.

For further information:
- go to The Register