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The 4G Auction is Officially Open!

Ofcom yesterday welcomed applications to take part in the 4G auction – the largest ever mobile spectrum auction in the UK.  The short window for applying ran for just 6 hours between 10am and 4pm requiring a £100,000 deposit too.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said yesterday: “We have fired the starting gun on the 4G auction process. In the past year alone, mobile internet usage has doubled. The 4G auction will release crucial capacity to support future growth, helping to boost UK productivity, innovation and drive significant improvements to mobile broadband availability across  the UK.”

Ofcom will review all applications and will announce the successful applicants early in the New Year.  Bidding will then start in January 2013 and is likely to take place over a number of weeks before the final result of the auction is known.

The 800MHz spectrum, previously used by analogue television, will be one lot being auctioned whilst bidders can also apply for the 2.6GHz frequency.  The difference between the two is that the lower frequency is best for widespread coverage for mobile whilst the latter is best to deliver faster speeds in a more concentrated environment such as a City.  Both lots will be available to multiple networks.

The 4G networks will allow consumers to potentially download a music album to their multimedia device in 3 minutes - a process which would probably take approximately 20 minutes using 3G.

For more details and to view official press release visit the Ofcom website

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