UK military specturm sale could fetch US£1B - report

UK military spectrum sale could fetch £1B – report

17 DEC 2012

The UK Treasury could net as much as £1 billion through the sale of airwaves currently reserved for military use, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

The sale of the Ministry of Defence spectrum in the summer of 2014 is expected to be announced next week and is part of a long-term government strategy to auction unused spectrum to support next-generation 4G mobile networks.

The government spending review in 2010 recommended that 500MHz of public sector spectrum should be released by 2020 for new mobile communications.

The MoD, which controls around three-quarters of publicly-held spectrum, will be the first government department to put these recommendations into action.

One analyst told the FT that the price for the spectrum could be as high as £1 billion, depending on the expected future uses of the bandwidth. Another analyst said two bands are likely to be sold with each priced at between £400 million and £500 million.

The MoD has in the past loaned its spectrum for other uses, including communications for the London Olympic Games organisers.

An auction of 4G licences in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands is due to take place in January. Chancellor George Osborne recently announced that the UK Treasury expects to raise £3.5 billion from the auction of this 4G spectrum in early 2013.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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