The fierce bidding war over the 3.4GHz wireless licence for Greater London has ended in victory for Poundradio, bringing the auction process for the 15 licences to a close.
Set up by Hong Kong-based telecoms company PCCW, Poundradio has won 13 licences at a cost of more than £6.29m.
Two other bidders took one licence each. Red Spectrum, which won the D Northern licence, and Public Hub, which took the N Southern licence, paid £330,000 each.
The government's aim for the spectrum is to provide fixed wireless access broadband connections for areas unable to access other delivery methods such as ADSL and cable.
It estimates that fixed wireless access could account for 18 per cent of broadband use in the UK by 2007.
E-commerce minister Stephen Timms said: "I am delighted with the outcome of the auction. With all 15 licences sold, this is another important step in making the UK the most extensive and competitive market for broadband in the G7.
"The aim of the auction was to see the licences in the hands of the operators best able to take advantage of them, and to see consumers - including those in areas currently without ADSL or cable - benefit from fixed wireless broadband access."
But successful bidders, which can hold the licences for up to 15 years, are not required to submit rollout plans for broadband.
There is speculation that the spectrum could be used for other tasks such as to provide back-haul services for 3G applications.
Jupiter analyst Ian Fogg suggested that this would offer dual use and help promote the technology.
"The real benefit is that it can provide consumer access to the internet and offer back-haul services for 3G," he said.
But others are not so sure that the spectrum will be put to good use immediately.
Ovum analyst Tim Johnson said: "The spectrum is not ideal for broadband but could be used to fill some gaps in remote rural areas. But my feeling is that it might not be used at all initially.
"The licences were so cheap that they could be put in the bottom draw in the anticipation that someone will one day have a use for them."
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