4G Auction Bidders Announced

News Article - Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:03

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

Ofcom has announced the companies who will be allowed to put in bids for 4G services in the upcoming 4G spectrum auction.

The auction, which is the largest sale of mobile airwaves ever in the UK, will allow the following companies to bid for a part of the spectrum: EE (UK); HKT (UK) Limited; 3G; MLL Telecoms and Niche Spectrum Ventures (both subsidiaries of BT), Telefonica and Vodafone.

The auction is due to take place next month and bidders will be "competing” to acquire a portion of the spectrum which is to be rolled out across the UK, including towns and villages across the UK next year".

"This new spectrum will boost the amount of airwaves available to mobile phones by more than 75% and will play a critical role in helping to meet a growing demand for mobile data among consumers,” Ofcom said in a statement.

"The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.

"New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections,” added Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards.

Following its assessments of the UK mobile market, the regulators found "that UK consumers are likely to benefit from better services at lower prices if there are at least four credible national wholesalers of mobile services.”

In order to achieve the interests of competition, Ofcom has designed the auction in a specific manner. Bidders can compete for parts of the spectrum in different bands: 800MHz and 2.6GHz. The lower end of the spectrum was freed up when terrestrial TV was turned off and Ofcom say that it’s "ideal for widespread mobile coverage”.

The higher frequency is ideal for faster mobile speeds and both bands are "being packaged in smaller lots for the auction”. The combination of higher and lower frequencies means that there is the "potential” to offer 4G across the UK and cope with inner-city and urban demand.

4G will be significantly faster than 3G and the mobile broadband technology is expected to allow people to stream movies, watch TV and be closer in speeds to fixed line home broadband. It’s thought 4G will be around 5-7 times faster, with average speeds of 6Mbps.

To find out more about the new services, visit the 4G consumer page which gives further information on the auction itself and what benefits mobile users are expected to see from the new technology.

Recent Articles