The UK's 4G and 5G spectrum auction, which is due to start next week, will have one fewer bidder after Connexin, a fixed wireless internet service provider based in Hull, unexpectedly dropped out.
The company operates broadband networks in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and was the smallest company that had registered to take part in the auction.
The auction will nevertheless start next week for space on the 4G friendly 2.3GHz mobile spectrum band and the 5G friendly 3.4GHz band.
Along with all four of the UK's mobile operators - EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 - Connexin and Airspan Spectrum Holdings, a subsidiary of US firm Airpan, were cleared to bid in the forthcoming auction.
At the time, Connexin's CEO Furqan Alamgir described it as "an opportunity to build on our position at the forefront of next generation mobile technology".
He continued: "Ofcom's green light to take part in the auction is validation that Connexin is qualified to operate at the highest level. We will be formally confirming with Ofcom in the coming days that Connexin will indeed take part."
However, communications regulator Ofcom has announced that Connexin will not participate in the auction for 2.3 and 3.4 GHz band spectrum after all, although it did not go into details about why it had suddenly dropped out, just days before the auctions are due to begin.
There will be 40MHz of spectrum auctioned in the 2.3GHz band, which will be available to use for 5G services, and 150MHz of spectrum auctioned in the 3.4GHz band, which will be crucial to the rollout of 5G over the next two years.
There are caps of 255MHz on the immediately usable spectrum and 340MHz on the overall amount of mobile spectrum that an operator can hold as a result of the auction. This means that BT/EE will not be able to bid in the 2.3GHz band.
The auction is set to begin on Tuesday 20 March.
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