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Vodafone scoops biggest share of 5G spectrum in Ofcom auction

Mobile phone providers have spent nearly £1.35bn on a 5G auction hosted by the UK communications regulator Ofcom.

Vodafone, O2, EE and Three all successfully bidded in the action, which had been expected to raise just £1bn, according to the Financial TimesUS firm Airspan Spectrum Holding was the only bidder to leave the first stage of the sale without access to the two spectrums up for grabs.

Handing over £378m for 50Mhz of the 5G spectrum, Vodafone was the biggest spender. O2 came in second, buying 40Mhz of the spectrum for £317.7m, while EE paid £302.6m for the same amount. Three paid £151m for 20Mhz. O2, meanwhile, bought the entirety of the 4G spectrum that Ofcom opened up in a separate auction.

Ofcom spectrum director Philip Marnick welcomed the results of the auction: “This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices.

“Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices.”