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O2 to challenge Ofcom’s 5G spectrum sale

Paul Lipscombe
May 4, 2020

The challenge could delay the auction by up to a year-and-a-half 

O2 is reportedly set to challenge against Ofcom over rules the regulator has set ahead of the next 5G spectrum auction.

It comes after The Financial Times reported that the operator intends to challenge Ofcom, in a move that could delay the UK’s second 5G spectrum auction by up to 18 months.

The operator wants to challenge terms in relation to the sale of 5G frequencies in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz bands.

O2 wants the spectrum be sold in contiguous blocks by Ofcom, rather than in fragmented slices.

The second auction has been placed on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. It had been due to take place this year.


The challenge has disappointed Ofcom, which says it could “slow things down for mobile users and the economy.”

Three claimed the most spectrum during the first 5G auction, after acquiring 20MHz of 3.4GHz bandwidth.

The four operators spent £1.35 billion at the first Ofcom spectrum auction.

Mobile News has contacted O2 for comment.

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