4G auction raises £2.34bn

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Ofcom has announced that the 4G auction has ended, raising a total of £2.34 billion. 4G mobile broadband should provide smartphone and tablet users with super-fast download speeds. It is expected that almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.

After more than 50 rounds of bidding, the winning bidders have been announced as Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (EE), Hutchinson 3G, the BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures and Telefonica UK. Whilst EE are expected to use the additional spectrum to expand its existing network, the other operators required this newly released capacity in order to launch their 4G services.

Whilst the amount raised has fallen short of the £3.5bn estimated by the Government, Ofcom have insisted that revenue generation was not their main objective, instead highlighting the importance of promoting strong competition in the 4G mobile market. In turn this will lead to faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices and new investment.

Coverage is expected to extend beyond that of 3G services, covering 98% of the UK population indoors, and even more when outdoors. As we reported earlier this week, concerns have been raised over the 4G switch-on interfering with TV signal, with the potential to affect over 2.3 million homes. However, these concerns were not addressed in Ofcom’s announcement.

As always, Comm-Tech will update you on the availability of 4G services as we obtain further information. If you would like to register your interest and be kept up to date with the latest developments, please leave your details below or contact our team on 01603 218600.

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