Ofcom pushes back spectrum auction

UK communications regulator Ofcom pushed back plans for an auction of telephone spectrum due to legal challenges by Telefonica's O2 and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile, a Dow Jones report said.

'(In April) we indicated that we expected the application date for the award (of 2.6 gigahertz and 2010 megahertz spectrum) to be in July 2008,' Ofcom, quoted by the Dow Jones report, said in a statement.

'Since then, T-Mobile and O2 have begun have begun legal challenges of our decision to press ahead with the award. In light of this, we have decided that it would be inappropriate to set the application date for July or August 2008.'

The auction was originally due to take place in September, after applications in July, the Dow Jones report said.

The 2.6 GHz spectrum has become available as outside broadcasters using wireless cameras and other wireless video equipment have moved to other bands in the 2GHz range, it added.

According to Ofcom this spectrum could be used for wireless broadband technology, mobile multimedia services, such as mobile television and mobile broadcasts.

T-Mobile and O2 are taking Ofcom to court as they claim that without a proper idea of what they can do with their existing spectrum, they can't calculate how much of the 2.6 gigahertz and 2010 megahertz expansion band they will need, the Dow Jones report further said.