Wap may only just have arrived, but next week the race is on to operate 3G (third generation) mobile phone networks.
Thirteen companies are expected to bid for the 3G licences to secure access to one of five radio frequency allocations. It will be the first 3G auction in Europe.
3G will open up the market for internet-connected mobile phones, providing a stable platform for consumers to surf the internet and download music and games.
The auction carries that provision that at least one new player will be able to enter the UK mobile telecoms market. Existing UK mobile licence holders Orange, Vodafone, BT and One2One will not be allowed to bid for the licence with the largest allocation.
The 3G service will not become mass market for at least another year.
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