Ofcom confirms UK 4G auction bidders

News Richard Goodwin 10:25, 20 Dec 2012

Ofcom has named all the companies that will bid in its UK 4G auction in January 2013

Ofcom has confirmed who will be bidding for a slice of the UK’s 800MHz to 2.6GHz 4G spectrums in January 2013.

The following organisations have qualified to bid in the auction:

  • Everything Everywhere Limited (UK)
  • HKT (UK) Company Limited (a subsidiary of PCCW Limited)
  • Hutchison 3G UK Limited
  • MLL Telecom Ltd
  • Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of BT Group plc)
  • Telefónica UK Limited
  • Vodafone Limited

‘Bidders will be competing for spectrum in two separate bands – 800MHz and 2.6GHz. The lower frequency 800MHz band is part of the ‘digital dividend’ freed up when analogue terrestrial TV was switched off, which is ideal for widespread mobile coverage,’ said Ofcom.

Combined, the two new bands add up to 250MHz of additional mobile spectrum to the UK’s bandwidth. Ofcom says this additional spectrum will allow for broader coverage across the UK.

‘This combination of low and high frequency spectrum creates the potential for 4G mobile broadband services to be widely available across the UK, while offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres,’ Ofcom added.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, 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.’

None of the UK’s major networks have discussed how they’ll be pricing their 4G tariffs, although that will no doubt change once the auction has concluded. Just don’t expect to see any unlimited data tariffs.

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