Ofcom consultation for the award of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands

Ofcom published its consultation document for the award of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands (available here).  DotEcon is advising Ofcom in the design of an auction for this award.  There is a total of 190MHz of spectrum available for the award, which Ofcom expects to conduct at the end of 2015 or early 2016.  In its consultation document, Ofcom proposes to auction the spectrum in 5MHz frequency-generic blocks in two categories (one for each band).  Ofcom has proposed two alternative auction formats for the assignment of frequency-generic lots, one based on the Simultaneous Multi-Round Ascending auction, but using generic lot categories within which bid increments are applied uniformly, and a Combinatorial Clock Auction.  Ofcom has indicated provisionally that it considers the SMRA to be a preferable option, although it stated that either format would work well, and is asking interested parties about their preferred option.  The assignment of specific frequencies would be determined in a follow-up assignment stage, in which Ofcom would restrict potential outcomes in order to prioritise assignments that minimise fragmentation of assignments to each winner of spectrum.  In the event that are alternative assignment plans that meet Ofcom’s requirements, bidders will be allowed to bid for their preferred frequency range, and may need to pay an additional amount for their preferred option, determined using a second price rule.

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