UK to look at €5B German auction in setting licence fee

UK to look at €5B German auction in setting licence fee

09 JUL 2015

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom will consider the recent, high-rolling German auction when calculating annual licence fees for operators in the UK.

The German auction, which concluded last month, defied expectations by raising €5 billion. Expert opinion ahead of the event forecast proceeds at half that level. The final total was driven by unexpectedly aggressive bidding for 1800MHz frequencies.

Now, Ofcom says it will include the German result in an international benchmarking process that will help determine how much operators should pay annually for 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies in the UK.

The regulator has been considering the results of all auctions internationally that have concluded since 2010, and will now factor Germany into its sums.

Ofcom was directed by the UK government to revise annual licence fees following the completion of the 4G auction in 2013. It has subsequently published a number of consultation papers on the subject. The most recent consultation was in February 2015, and has been superseded by the German auction.

Ofcom is open to comments on how it proposes to take account of the German results. The aim is to make a final decision towards the end of September, or beginning of October, 2015.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

Read more