Money Matters - Simplified

UK confirms 4G spectrum auction for the end of 2012

It is estimated that 4G will get in touch with 98 percent of inhabitants thronging “villages, towns and cities" all across the United Kingdom by the year 2017.

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is preparing the public launch of frequency spectrum that will lead to the introduction of the 4G mobile networks in the nation.

The spectrum auction
Proudly announcing the auction Ofcom committed that the deal is "set to get underway by the end of 2012" in a way marking a time limit for the introduction of 4G cellular frequency spectrum in UK.

The auction will legalize the launching of 4G networks with the sold spectrum in mid 2013 and the operators can then start to sell 4G services to the mobile users later the same year.

The Ofcom Plans
The telecoms regulator also guarantees that 4G cellular frequency will touch the indoor locations. It is estimated that 4G will be accessible to 98 percent of inhabitants thronging “villages, towns and cities" all across the United Kingdom by the year 2017.

Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards asserts, "The 4G auction has been designed to deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across 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."

The three biggest mobile service operators in the UK are Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (the conglomerate behind the Orange and T-Mobile bands) and O2 under the Telefonica brand.

These three will be able to access the spectrum to a large extent. As a marketing strategy and in order to tweak competition, Ofcom plans to reserve a part of the 4G spectrum band for another national wholesale trader who will also get some rights to sell the spectrum.

Two spectrum bands
Two spectrum bands will be the call of the auction -800MHz and the 2.6GHz. The 2.6GHz is ideal for extensive mobile coverage and the higher frequency is responsible for connection speeds in mobile phones.

There is strong possibility that the spectrum held in reserve may be sold to Hutchinson's 3 network, or some other bidder altogether.

Ofcom had raised 22 billion pounds by the sale of the 3G spectrum in 2000 and plans to do 80 percent more spectrum business this time.