All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Ofcom confirms 4G auction bidding to begin in 2013

24 Jul 2012
Mobile mast

Ofcom has confirmed that bidding in the 4G spectrum auctions will take place at the start of 2013 with a set of the new spectrum holdings set aside to guarentee coverage from a fourth operator.

The rollout of 4G networks has been plagued by delays but Ofcom had promised that auctions would take by place the end of 2012, although this only meant with regards the submission of interest to bid by operators.

On Tuesday Ofcom re-confirmed that the bidding process would not begin until 2013 as the regulator will need time to assess the consultation responses to its latest proposals.

The slow process for the auctions is a blow for the UK, which is far behind rivals such as Germany and the US on the use of 4G, as operators squabble over numerous aspects of the process for handing out the new spectrum.

The new spectrum sits in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands and should allow speeds up to 150Mbit/s when accessing the internet on the move. This should help mobile operators offer far faster mobile broadband speeds and extend their capacity to meet the huge strain being placed on their networks by smartphones and tablets.

O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere will be the main bidders in the auction but Ofcom has confirmed a portion of spectrum will be set aside for a fourth operator - possibly Three or a new entrant such as Virgin Media - to ensure a competitive market.

Winners of 4G spectrum will also face coverage obligations of 98 per cent to ensure those living in the remotest regions of the UK are able to access the internet with solid connections, as part of the government's desire to provide coverage for all by 2015.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards touted the benefits 4G will bring to the UK, when it eventually arrives.

"The 4G auction has been designed to deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across the UK," he said.

"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 consultation on the proposals will be open until 11 September with bidders then asked to submit their requests to enter the auctions by the end of 2012, before the actual bidding begins in early 2013.

Networks should be live by the end of 2013, Ofcom said, although given the numerous delays so far, it may well not be until 2014 before any major implementations are up and running.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

More on Networks
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Windows 7 end of mainstream support

What are your plans for when Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015?
10%
9%
3%
65%
13%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
LG G3 in gold black and white

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 video

We pit the two Korean firms' flagship smartphones against each other

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

[Mandarin] Technical Support

The Role We are looking for highly motivated, technically...

Digital Business Analyst / Producer - Award Winning Digital Agency

Digital Business Analyst / Producer - Award Winning Digital...

2nd Line Helpdesk Engineer - Windows - IT Support Consultancy

2nd Line Helpdesk Engineer - Windows - IT & Technology...

Client Account Director - Marketing Insights / Analytics Software

Client Account Director - Marketing Insights / Analytics...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.