Vodafone and BT shell out more money on spectrum

Vodafone and BT shell out more money on spectrum

Mobile operators Vodafone and BT have topped up their spectrum bids after they were invited to do so by communications regulator Ofcom.

Both had been allocated airwaves that can be used to create super-fast mobile broadband in the UK, to increase the availability of 4G services to business users around the nation.

The two companies, along with Three, EE and O2, were announced as winners of the recent 4G auction, but BT and Vodafone have paid millions more than had initially been stated.

Vodafone has added £8 million to be allocated to the spectrum bands 801 to 811 MHz and 842 to 852 MHz and £4 million to be added to the 2,500 to 2,520 MHz and 2,620 to 2,640 MHz, bringing its total spend on the auction to £802.8 million.

BT's subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures added £15 million to the £186 million it had already bid for spectrum, bringing its total spend to £201 million.

Between the pair, they have increased the amount spent on the 4G auction by £27 million, taking the final auction round total to £2.37 billion.

Last week, Vodafone UK's chief executive Guy Laurence, said: "We've secured the low frequency mobile phone spectrum that will support the launch of our ultra-fast 4G service later this year.

"It will enable us to deliver services where people really want it, especially indoors. This is great news for our customers. The next generation of mobile internet services will bring real benefits to both consumers and businesses."

An official Vodafone blog noted that when the 4G services launches later this year, phone signals will greatly improve and become more reliable.

"Our signal will travel further into your home than any 4G signal that's available now, all things being equal. And we'll be in many more places through our commitment to bring indoor coverage to 98 per cent of the population by the end of 2015," it noted.

Despite the further spend on spectrum, the figure is much less than the £3.5 billion that was forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).