Britain clears 700 MHz radio waves for 5G auction in January

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has cleared its 700 MHz band of airwaves after a four-year programme that involved retuning nearly 20 million TV sets, freeing up new capacity to be auctioned for 5G mobile services in January 2021, the government said on Thursday.

Releasing the airwaves would help increase the total amount of the radio spectrum available for mobile services in the UK by nearly a fifth, it said.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “We have overseen a quiet revolution in the airwaves which will lead tobetter mobile coverage for rural communities and unlock new ways for 5G to boost business productivity and improve people’s lives.”

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison