On 22nd February, Ofcom’s auction of radio spectrum in the 10-40GHz bands was successfully completed. This was the first ever use of a new auction format for radio specturm allocation designed by DotEcon and implemented over the Internet using DotEcon’s WebBidder platform (for more information about WebBidder click here)
The new format has been created to address the up and coming problem in spectrum management that new technologies need various amounts of spectrum which fixed packaging into pre-determined lots cannot accommodate. The combinatorial clock auction provides a new way for spectrum markets to explore alternative uses and technologies. Ofcom has published plans to use this format for the forthcoming auctions of L-band and 2.6GHz spectrum. The Dutch government has also published plans to use this new format for its forthcoming auction of 2.6GHz spectrum.
The combinatorial clock auction allows bidders to seek packages of spectrum that they define themselves. If bidders are prepared to compromise on the amount of spectrum they want, the auction allows them to express such preferences. The auction uses sophisticated algorithms to ensure that, given all the bids received, spectrum is allocated efficiently. Bidders pay as much as they need to win spectrum. This makes the auction particularly simple for bidders, as unlike many previous spectrum auctions, there is little role for complex bid strategy; bidders simply need to decide what they want and make appropriate bids.
To find out more about combinatorial clock auctions, please keep an eye on our publications section. We will be publishing a series of technical papers on the new format in the coming months.