5 winners of 4G mobile auction announced by Ofcom

5 winners of 4G mobile auction announced by Ofcom

The winners of the 4G mobile spectrum auction have been announced by Ofcom.

Everything Everywhere (EE), Hutchison 3G UK, Niche Spectrum Ventures – a subsidiary of BT Group – Telefonica and Vodafone were the successful organisations after more than 50 rounds of bidding.

It is now hoped that within the next six months the four operators will be able to start supplying 4G services to customers, including small and large companies around the UK, joining EE which has already begun its provision.

Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said that the auction has resulted in creating a "positive outcome for competition in the UK", which in turn will lead to faster and more widespread mobile broadband providing "substantial benefits for consumers and businesses across the country".

"We are confident that the UK will be among the most competitive markets in the world for 4G services. 4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98 per cent of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband," he added.

"We also want consumers to be well informed about 4G, so we will be conducting research at the end of this year to show who is deploying services, in which areas and at what speeds. This will help consumers and businesses to choose their most suitable provider."

There is still a further stage as part of the 4G process, which will determine whereabouts in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands each successful carrier's new spectrum will be located.

Bids will need to be lodged shortly and once a licence fee has been paid, Ofcom will then be able to grant permission for the winners to make use of the spectrum.

The organisation has revealed details on which spectrum each operator was successful in applying for, along with the base price.

EE – 2 x 5 MHz of 800 MHz and 2 x 35 MHz of 2.6 GHz at a base price of £588.9 million

Hutchison 3G UK – 2 x 5 MHz of 800 MHz at a base price of £255 million

Niche Spectrum Ventures – 2 x 15 MHz of 2.6 GHz and 1 x 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz (unpaired) at a base price of £186.5 million

Telefonica UK – 2 x 10 MHz of 800 MHz (coverage obligation lot) at a base price of £550 million

Vodafone – 2 x 10 MHz of 800 MHz, 2 x 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz and 1 x 25 MHz of 2.6 GHz (unpaired) at a base price of £790.8 million