More delays for 2.6GHz wireless spectrum

The planned auction for the 2.6GHz wireless spectrum has been delayed by Ofcom, following growing pressure from telecommunications operators.

Ofcomannounced its decision to award spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 2010MHz bands in April this year.

However, since then O2 and T-Mobile have voiced concerns to Ofcom, forcing the regulator to push back the application date for the auction, which had initially been set for July.

The two operators claim that the auction would be unfair in its original incarnation, in that operators are bidding blindly because another spectrum issue has not been resolved.

A spokesperson for O2 said that although they had approached Ofcom with their grievances, they were not aiming to delay the auction.

"We have appealed the auction, butwe are not seeking to delay the auction of the centre band of 2.6GHz that is available for WiMAX services.

"We believe that Ofcom can go ahead and auction that now, leaving the outer part for LTE services until after there is clarity on mobile liberalisation."

It is thought that the delay of the 2.6GHz wireless spectrum could also affect the widespread availability of WiMax services in the UK.

According to a spokesperson from Ofcom, the regulator believes the 2.6GHz auction should go ahead as soon as possible for the benefit of citizens and consumers.

"Ofcom believes that it is in the citizen and consumer interest to hold the award as soon as possible. Therefore, we are seeking an expedited timeframe for the legal action to be heard," the watchdog said.

"As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will provide further information on the timing of the application and auction processes."