BT’s mobile business, EE, wins 80MHz of 5G spectrum

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Spectrum won at £452m prior to assignment round

Following the principal stage of Ofcom’s 5G auction, EE has secured new 700MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum.

Marc Allera, CEO Consumer said“EE has secured vital new spectrum in this auction which, when rolled out into the network, will allow us to grow our position as the UK’s number one 5G network. EE was first to launch 4G and 5G, and this auction outcome is great news for our network, our customers and BT.”

Low band 700MHz spectrum is widely seen as crucial for reach and indoor coverage, providing a wider and better customer experience. Mid-range 3.6GHz spectrum will help deliver greater capacity and speed, both vital elements for the growing use cases associated with 5G technologies.

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The Spectrum Auction now moves to a second stage, to work out where the acquired spectrum will be assigned within the band. The full commercial terms will only be finalised at the end of this assignment stage of the auction.

Full details of the spectrum EE has won are shown in the table below:

Spectrum on offer EE secured As a % of
spectrum on offer
aid per lot
Cost to
EE Limited
60MHz of 700MHz spectrum band
in six lots of 2x5MHz FDD1
2 lots of 2x5MHz
(2 x 10MHz)
33% £140m £280m
20MHz of 700MHz spectrum band
in four lots of 5MHz SDL2 (downlink only)
4 lots of 5MHz 100% £1m £4m
120MHz of spectrum in the 3.6-
3.8GHz band in 24 lots of 5MHz
8 lots of 5MHz
(40Mhz total)
33% £21m £168m
Total £452m

1FDD – Frequency division duplex
2SDL – Supplemental downlink

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries.

BT’s principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers.

BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.