Rationalizing the 3.4-3.8 GHz Spectrum in the United Kingdom

13 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2019

See all articles by James Bono

James Bono

Microsoft Corporation

Allan T. Ingraham

Economists Incorporated

Date Written: November 27, 2018


We argue that in advance of auctioning the UK's remaining unallocated spectrum in 3.6-3.8 GHz, Ofcom has the opportunity to adopt a band-restructuring framework that gives all wireless providers the option of acquiring the necessary spectrum to use this first 5G band to its full potential. The core element of the framework would be to guarantee that post-auction holdings are assigned to contiguous frequencies within the entire 3.4-3.8 GHz band for every licence holder regardless of when and how that spectrum was allocated. In this paper, we propose a detailed framework for rationalizing holdings in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band. The main component of the framework is an auction mechanism to determine post-auction frequency assignments by minimizing relocation costs. We discuss variations of this basic idea as well as alternatives. This framework is related to the band-restructuring frameworks that have become more common as regulators seek to reconfigure, reallocate, and re-purpose spectrum holdings in response to changes in demand and technology.

Keywords: Spectrum Auction, Band Restructuring, Degfragmentation, 5G, United Kingdom, Ofcom

JEL Classification: D44

Suggested Citation

Bono, James and Ingraham, Allan T., Rationalizing the 3.4-3.8 GHz Spectrum in the United Kingdom (November 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3463894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3463894

James Bono (Contact Author)

Microsoft Corporation ( email )

One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
United States

Allan T. Ingraham

Economists Incorporated ( email )

Washington, DC 20036
United States

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