Seven UK operators to do battle at 4G auction next month | Mobile Networks | Mobile Entertainment

Seven UK operators to do battle at 4G auction next month

Seven UK operators to do battle at 4G auction next month
Zen Terrelonge

by

Networks / EE / December 20th 2012 at 1:07PM

Vodafone, O2, and Three among those bidding for two different LTE spectrum bands.

Ofcom continues to be the UK's 4G puppet master, having outraged networks like Vodafone earlier this year by approving LTE for Everything Everywhere ahead of anyone else.

The UK trails significantly with the 4G rollout, when compared to the likes of the US, which accounts for two-thirds of the world's LTE connections.

Ofcom says the long-awaited 4G spectrum auction will begin in January 2013, with seven operators to bid for access, including: EE, Three UK, O2, Vodafone, HKT UK (a subsidiary of PCCW Limited), MLL Telecom Ltd and Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of BT).

Two different bands will be on offer; 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The former is said to be ideal for widespread coverage, and was freed up when analogue TV was switched off, while the higher frequency 2.6 GHz band is designed to deliver faster speeds.

The bands will jointly offer 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum, building on the 333 MHz currently available.

Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, said: "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."

In related news, 275m smartphones are set to ship in 2013.

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