Q&As

Question: Could you confirm that for the 1452-1492 MHz (L Band) auction there is no separate Application Document as there was for the 10, 28, 32 and 40 GHz award?

Answer: For the 10-40 GHz award there was an 'Application Information' document (i.e. an application form) and a separate 'Application Document' (i.e. a warranty). In respect of the 1452-1492 MHz (L Band) award these two documents have been combined into an 'Application Form and Warranty'.

Therefore an application for the 1452-1492 MHz (L Band) award should comprise a completed 'Application Form and Warranty' and (if required) the completed 'Document for Member of Applicant's Bidder Group who is not an Associate'.

Additionally, the initial deposit of £50,000 must be remitted to Ofcom before the deadline.

Question: Will it be possible to download round prices during the auction for rounds prior to the current round?

Answer: The Electron Auction System has a facility for downloading the auction history. This can by accessed by using the 'Download history' button on the left hand panel of the system interface. Both the auction history and the bids history have downloadable files containing information, including the round prices, which will be available in comma separated values file (csv) format and tab separated (tsv) format.

Question: Could a bidder win either all the lots that they bid for in their final bid, or none at all? In other words, is it possible that the situation could arise where a bidder bids for 9 lots and wins lots 1, 5 and 9 but not the rest?

Answer: In the forthcoming 1452-492 MHz (L Band) auction your bid may comprise an individual lot or combination of lots. Each bid which you make is binding for the whole of the auction. It is an enduring commitment to buy the listed lot (or combination of lots) at the total bid price, notwithstanding any other bids which you may subsequently make. The bids which you make are indivisible. This means that if a bid which you make wins, then you will be assigned all of the lots listed in the bid and not just a subset of them. Additionally, your bids will not be combined, at most one of your bids will win, you will never be required to pay for a combination of two or more of your bids.

Question: Are deposits non-refundable once the bidding begins in the auction?

Answer: Applicants which are qualified to bid, and which do not withdraw their application on or before the last day for withdrawal, become bidders. Bidders which are not winning bidders will have their initial deposit, and any deposits paid under regulations 23, 33 or 40, refunded to them on completion of the award process, provided that none of those deposits have been forfeit for any failure to comply with the Regulations or breach of the activity rules. Ofcom will not however refund any interest which has accrued on the deposits.

Question: Will bidders be able to upload files of Supplementary Bids produced by other software?

Answer: The electronic auction system for the 1452-1492 MHz (L Band) auction will have an upload facility which will allow bidders to upload supplementary bids specified in a tab separated values file. This means that bidders will be able to edit their supplementary bids in other software (for example, Excel) and then transfer those bids to the electronic auction system for checking and submission. It will also be possible to download from the electronic auction system a number of similarly formatted files containing information about the bids made and progress of the auction to date, for analysis using other software.

Question: Paragraph 3(e) of the draft Wireless Telegraphy Act licence schedule says that the Licensee must ensure that the Radio Equipment is established and installed only for terrestrial use. Does this preclude aeronautical use?

Answer: Paragraph 3 (e) of Schedule 1 of the draft Wireless Telegraphy Act licences states that the ‘The Licensee must ensure that the Radio Equipment is established and installed only for terrestrial use’. However this is to distinguish it from satellite use. Terrestrial in this case does not preclude aeronautical use, although you would need to comply with all relevant aeronautical regulation.

Question: What is the deposit which we have to provide with our application to participate in the auction?

Answer: The Initial Deposit required is £50,000. The deadline for payment of the Initial Deposit to Ofcom is 23:59 on 10 April 2008. Guidance on paying the Initial Deposit is available on the Ofcom website at:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/spectrumawards/liveawards/award_1452/notices/guidancenote.pdf

Question: When will we get a chance to increase that deposit?

Answer: Bidders are free to increase their deposit at any time, but it is unnecessary to do so except in response to a Notice from Ofcom.

The first occasion when Ofcom will issue such a Notice is prior to the start of the first Primary Bid Round, when Ofcom will give Bidders notice of the deadline by when they must pay any additional sum that they wish to have taken into account by Ofcom when determining the Bidder's Eligibility Limit for the first Primary Bid Round.

During the Primary Bid Rounds, Ofcom may give Notice to any Bidder that has made a Primary Bid for an amount that is in excess of the amount they have on deposit with Ofcom, that they must increase the amount that they have on deposit with Ofcom to be no less than the amount of the highest Primary Bid that the Bidder has made up to the time of that Notice.

Finally, at around the same time as Ofcom notifies Bidders of the timing of the Supplementary Bids Round, Ofcom will give Notice to Bidders of the deadline by when each Bidder must ensure that the total amount that they have on deposit with Ofcom is no less than the amount of the highest Primary Bid or Supplementary Bid made by that Bidder.

Question: Paragraph 5 of the draft Wireless Telegraphy Act licence states that the licence is not transferable?

Answer: This is correct, however the position is that the transfer of rights and obligations arising by virtue of the Licences (spectrum trading) may be authorised in accordance with regulations made by Ofcom under powers conferred by section 30(1) and (3) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006.

Question: The initial deposit that is required is £50,000. Do we have to increase our deposit if we bid higher than this for a package?

Answer: The Initial Deposit required from each Applicant for the 1452-1492 MHz (L Band) auction is £50,000.

Before the start of the first Primary Bid round, each Bidder may pay an additional sum into Ofcom’s bank account which, when added to its Initial Deposit, will determine the Bidder’s Eligibility Limit in the first Primary Bid Round – one Eligibility Point per whole £50,000 of deposit, up to a maximum of 19 Eligibility Points.

During the Primary Bid rounds, Bidders are not automatically required to increase the amount that they have on deposit with Ofcom if they make a Primary Bid for an amount that is in excess of the amount they have on deposit with Ofcom at the time of the bid. Ofcom may however, subsequently require any Bidder that has made such a Primary Bid to pay an additional amount as deposit, such that the total amount the Bidder has on deposit with Ofcom is no less than the amount of the Bidder’s highest Primary Bid up to the time of the notice from Ofcom.

Finally, at around the same time as Ofcom notifies Bidders of the timing of the Supplementary Bids Round, Ofcom will notify Bidders of the deadline by which each Bidder must ensure that the total amount that the Bidder has on deposit with Ofcom is no less than the amount of the highest Primary Bid or Supplementary Bid made by that Bidder.

Question: At the seminar (17 th Mar) I remember you saying that prices for the bands will be calculated so that the winner only pays a little more for the winning package. For example, if Gary bid £100k and James bid £75k. Gary would win the bid and pay a price which is a small delta on top of James bid. Is that correct?

Answer: The prices to be paid for Licences in the auction will be determined using a ‘second price’ rule. The characteristics of the ‘second price’ rule are such that, if there were only two Bidders, and if those two Bidders both submitted bids for the same selection of lots (and no other selections of lots), the Winning Price to be paid by the Winning Bidder for that selection of lots would be the amount of the highest bid for that same selection of lots made by the ‘losing’ Bidder.  It should be noted that this simple example is based on the minimum requirements necessary for the “second price” rule to apply.

Question: Are mobile transmitters allowed in the 1452-1492 MHz band?

Answer: Mobile transmitters are allowed in the 1452-1492 MHz band. Ofcom’s Statement of 7 December 2008 (paragraphs 5.44 to 5.47) contained information on mobile transmitters and the Wireless Telegraphy Act licences which is reproduced below for your information.

‘5.44 As discussed above a number of respondents requested clarity on the question of whether mobile transmissions would be allowed in this spectrum. We have not received any evidence of short term demand for spectrum in this band for services that require mobile transmitters, however, for the avoidance of doubt mobile transmitters are allowed to operate in this band.

5.45 The licences as drafted include a requirement that licensees inform us of the location of their transmitters in order to enable compliance by modelling. In practice this will make it difficult for licensees to deploy mobile transmitters, however, we are planning to hold a general consultation on the question of using modelling to check compliance with SURs for mobile transmission which is likely to be concluded in the first half of 2008. This should lead to a robust set of general conditions for using modelling to check compliance for SURs with mobile transmissions.

5.46 We can not pre-judge the outcome of any request for a licence variation, however, we would be likely to permit licence variations that would allow licensees to deploy mobile transmitters if they were to comply with these general conditions.

5.47 However, as with other transmitters, if licensees want to deploy mobile transmitters they will need to have the agreement of their neighbours through the Code of Practice on ACI. Any request for a licence variation to remove the requirement to have to comply with the Code of Practice would be very unlikely to be granted unless agreed by all affected parties.’

The consultation referred to in 5.45 above titled ‘Spectrum Usage Rights: Licence verification approaches’ was published on 9 January 2008 and closed on 8 February 2008. Ofcom will be publishing a Statement in due course. A copy of the consultation document is available at:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/surs/surs.pdf