Germany became the first European country to auction 700MHz spectrum today (27 May 2015). France is likely to the next having said it will also auction 700MHz spectrum for mobile services use towards the end of this year.
UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has also indicated that it plans to auction 700MHz spectrum, but this will not happen for several years as the spectrum is used by UK digital terrestrial television and the entertainment industry for wireless microphones at events. These users will all have to be cleared off the spectrum first before it can be used for mobile services.
The German auction has not attracted any new bidders with just the country’s existing three mobile operators T-Mobile, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland bidding for 270MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 1500MHz and 1800MHz bands.
German telecoms regulator BNetza (Bundesnetzagentur) has said that 2 x 30MHz in the 700MHz band can be gradually used from 2017. It has said that the spectrum should be used to improve rural broadband coverage.