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Auction for UK’s 5G spectrum set for April after Three’s fails legal challenge against Ofcom

Last year, UK mobile network provider Three attempted to reduce Ofcom’s limitation on the amount of the 5G spectrum that could be purchased to 30 percent. It seems the legal action has now failed, with the auction set to go ahead in April with an imposed cap of 37 percent.

Three’s reasoning behind wanting the stricter cap was out of fear that the smallest of the four mobile operators in Britain would be squeezed out of a large portion of the spectrum by titans such as BT. As it stands, BT owns a whopping 45 percent of the airwaves, by far the largest share between all competitors.

The operator was keen to stress that it was right to appeal as the decisions made have gained the company “clarity” on the auction rules and that this “has not caused any delay to the delivery of 5G services to UK consumers.” Unfortunately, the company still sees the 37 percent cap as “too high if the policy objective is to have a competitive four player market” and would “like to see it set at a lower level in the future.”

While a larger company, O2 actually controls a smaller portion of the spectrum than Three and is adamant that the auction should proceed with no more delays. Luckily, Ofcom has announced that it will be pushing ahead with things in April with no more hiccups.

“The Court of Appeal has very firmly rejected Three’s application for permission to appeal on all grounds,” states an Ofcom spokesperson. “We welcome this decision, and will now press ahead with releasing these important airwaves. This new capacity will allow mobile companies to offer more reliable reception, and to prepare for future 5G services.”

KitGuru Says: Any further delays would have undoubtedly impacted on consumers getting their hands on 5G devices, so it’s good to see things moving at high speeds. As it stands, my 4G is faster than most home networks I tend to come across, so it will be interesting to see how 5G changes the game. Are you excited for 5G devices?

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