The UK's 4G auction has been a long time coming. Sure, the nation just got its first 4G network a few months back, but that was thanks to Everything Everywhere repurposing some of its own spectrum to use as 4G spectrum while it waited for the auction. Other networks, like O2 and Vodafone have been left waiting for telecoms watchdog Ofcom to auction off spectrum suitable for use in the roll out of 4G networks. Today, that auction inched just a little bit closer, as Ofcom announced the networks that will bid in the upcoming auction.
The following companies will be taking part in Ofcom's 4G spectrum 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
According to Ofcom, this new spectrum will boost the amount of airwaves available to phones by more than 75 percent and will include two separate bands of spectrum. The lower frequency 800MHz band. which was made available after the digital switchover, and the higher frequency 2.6 GHz band. Combined, they'll offer 250MHz of spectrum, compared to the 333MHz in use today. In order to promote healthy competition in the 4G arena, Ofcom plans to conduct the auction in such a way that there will, in the end, be at least four credible national wholesalers of mobile services.