Ofcom's 5G auction to go ahead after Three's challenge slapped down

Alys Key
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The auction for airwaves will go ahead this year (Source: Getty)

Telecoms companies are one step closer to bringing 5G to the UK after a legal challenge was slapped down today.

Three had attempted to challenge the rules of a spectrum auction which will divvy up airwaves to the big players, but its appeal was rejected.

Ofcom is now expected to hold the auction in April, selling off airwaves which will pave the way for 5G mobile services.

Three had wanted caps to be imposed on how much a single operator could own, but the Court of Appeal rejected the company's attempts today.

A spokesperson for Ofcom said: “We welcome this decision, and will now press ahead with releasing these important airwaves. This new capacity will allow mobile companies to offer more reliable reception, and to prepare for future 5G services.”

The airwaves will also strengthen operator's 4G coverage.

A representative for telecoms company O2 said: “We welcome today’s decision to reject Three’s appeal. It is now imperative that we move forward and hold the auction as soon as possible”.

There had been fears that the US would pull ahead of the UK in its 5G roll-out, as AT&T pushes forward on plans to deploy it this year.

But the auction will lay the groundwork for the introduction of 5G to the UK by 2020.

Read more: The government wants to give you better mobile signal on trains

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