UK media regulator Ofcom has announced that it will be releasing more bandwidth via open auction in the summer of 2008. The sale will be held on a technology and service neutral basis, and the winning bidder will also be able to sell on their licence after the auction has closed.

The spectrum could be used for "a range of new wireless services including WiMAX," according to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards.

Ideal for advanced wireless services

The spectrum that is to be sold falls between 2010-2025 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz bands, and is collectively known as 2.6 GHz. Able to provide high-speed, high-capacity mobile data connections, 2.6GHz is especially suited to mobile broadband, WiMAX and other advanced wireless services. In 2000, it was earmarked for the future development of these services.

The auction is scheduled to take place next summer. Ofcom is now overseeing a consultation process during which interested parties can make their representations, and rules for the auction can be drawn up.

Commenting on the forthcoming auction Richards said: "This process will see the UK's largest single release of spectrum suitable for a range of new wireless services including WiMAX. This is part of Ofcom's process of releasing a significant amount of spectrum to the market for the benefit of citizens and consumers."