UK MOBILE OPERATORS Three and Vodafone have thrown £200m at Qualcomm to pick up its L-Band spectrum in a bid to improve 4G coverage and speeds.
Qualcomm confirmed that it was selling off its L-Band spectrum, which can be used to boost the download capacity that mobile operators provide to customers, earlier this year, and said on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell it to Three and Vodafone.
Subject to approval by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, Vodafone will take control of 20MHz of the available spectrum, while Three will take over the remaining 20MHz.
Qualcomm didn't throw any figures around, but Bloomberg reported that the two operators paid £200m for the spectrum.
Instead, Qualcomm was keen to talk about the spectrum's benefits, and that the sale should help the two networks meet the increasing demands of data-hungry smartphone users.
"Harmonised and mandated for mobile broadband by the European Union in May 2015, L-Band spectrum can be used for Supplemental Downlink, helping mobile network operators meet the global demand for increased mobile data traffic,” the firm said.
A spokesperson for Three confirmed the purchase in a statement sent to The INQUIRER: "We can confirm we have successfully bid for spectrum held by Qualcomm UK Spectrum, subject to conditions and Ofcom’s review of the proposed trade.
"We will make no further comment until Ofcom has announced the outcome of that review process and the transaction has completed."
Vodafone also confirmed the deal, adding: "L-Band will complement Vodafone’s existing low frequency 800MHz spectrum which travels further and penetrates better through walls than other higher frequency 4G signals.
"Over time, Vodafone intends to combine the spectrum with 800MHz using a new technology called 4G+, also referred to as Carrier Aggregation, to deliver theoretical peak download speeds up to three times faster than standard 4G." µ
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