4G auction set for late 2012

4G auction set for late 2012

The largest auction of spectrum for mobile services in the UK will take place at the end of this year, according to Ofcom.

It is hoped the decision, which has been delayed numerous times thanks to a host of regulatory issues, will pave the way for next-generation 4G networks to be rolled out in 2013.

The auction will offer the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today – some 80 per cent more than released in the 3G auction which took place in 2000.

Once the auction has taken place and the networks are rolled out across the UK at least 98 per cent of people in villages, towns and cities across the UK will have access to mobile broadband.

Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said the auction has been designed to offer the maximum benefits to those living in the UK.

"As a direct result of the measures Ofcom is introducing, consumers will be able to surf the web, stream videos and download email attachments on their mobile device from almost every home in the UK."

Ofcom has also decided to reserve some of the spectrum for a fourth national wholesaler as well as the three largest mobile operators in the nation.