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Monday, November 12, 2012

Ofcom announces rules and timetable for UK 4G mobile spectrum auction

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its timetable for the forthcoming 4G mobile spectrum auction, along with reserve prices and final details of the auction rules. It’s described as the largest-ever sale of mobile airwaves in the UK.

The 4G services enabled by the auction will offer faster mobile data connections and more capacity than current 3G tariffs.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said “Today marks an important shift from preparation to the delivery of the auction, which will see widespread 4G mobile services from a range of providers. The entire industry is now focused on the auction itself, with a shared goal of delivering new and improved mobile services for consumers.”

11th December is likely to be set as the date for applications from prospective bidders to be received, although this won’t be confirmed for another two weeks. Applications will then be reviewed, with bidding beginning in January. Successful bidders will be contacted in February or March.

New 4G mobile services are then expected to go live in the UK from May or June 2013.

Ofcom’s reserve prices for the spectrum mean the 4G auction is expected to generate a minimum of £1.3 billion.

[Ofcom statement]

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