Bidding begins in UK’s largest spectrum auction.
The UK’s largest spectrum auction is now underway, with seven companies bidding for 4G services across the country.
In order to keep bidding private, bids are being placed online over specially encrypted connections, while telecoms regulator Ofcom has promised to remain tight-lipped on any bidding details until the auction has closed.
Operators are due to introduce 4G services in spring, with early bidding rounds taking place over the next few weeks. Those bidding in the auction are EE, O2, Vodafone and Three, HKT, BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures and MLL Telecom.
The auction begins with Ofcom stating a price for the lots of spectrum available. Each of the seven bidders is then given the opportunity to say which combinations of lots they would like to win at those prices. From this point, Ofcom will then increase the price of each lot with excess demand until it exceeds supply. This method is known as a ‘combinatorial clock auction’.
“Today’s 4G auction is a very significant milestone for the UK’s communications sector.'It will release the essential raw material for the next wave of mobile digital services. This will change the way we consume digital media in both our personal and working lives and deliver significant benefits to millions of consumers and businesses across the country,” said Ofcom CEO Ed Richards.