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Ofcom announces UK 4G spectrum auction date

Potential bidders can submit bids on December 11

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Communications regulator Ofcom has set out its plans for the much anticipated fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband spectrum auction in the UK.

In an announcement on Monday, Ofcom said potential bidders would be able to submit their applications with an initial deposit from December 11, with the bidding process beginning in January and the licences subsequently being granted in February and March. An Ofcom spokesperson told CFOWorld that a final confirmation of the schedule is expected on 26 November.

The reserve price for the spectrum would be a combined total of £1.3 billion. The announcement comes in wake of the regulator’s permission to allow EE – owned by Orange and T-Mobile – to roll out its new 4G service early on an existing spectrum.

Hence, market competitors Vodafone and 02 eagerly await the Ofcom auction amid promises that the new service could offer initial download speeds that are five to seven times faster than a comparable 3G network.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said, "Today marks an important shift from preparation to the delivery of the auction, which will see widespread 4G mobile services from a range of providers."


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