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Ofcom UK Releases 4G Mobile Spectrum to the Five Winning Auction Bidders

Friday, Mar 1st, 2013 (12:57 pm) - Score 4,028

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today issued radio spectrum licences to the five winners of their recent 4G auction for the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands. The move means that BT, O2, Three UK, EE and Vodafone are now “free to deploy” related LTE superfast Mobile Broadband networks.

Ofcom has also concluded the final assignment stage of the auction, which allowed “parties who had won spectrum the opportunity to ‘top up’ their bids in order to reflect any preference they had over where in the frequency bands their new spectrum would be located“.

The assignment stage has thus increased the overall total by £27.16m to £2,368,273,322 (compare this with the initial allocation), which is still a good £1bn or so below what the government originally hoped for. This perhaps reflects EE’s lacklustre performance with 4G in the existing 1800MHz band.

ofcom 4g uk auction winners final allocation

According to Ofcom’s revised 4G timetable, related mobile operators will now aim to begin the commercial launch of their new LTE services around May to June 2013. O2 will bear the brunt of this as they won the crucial coverage obligation lot (800MHz), which obliges them to roll-out 4G for “indoor reception” to at least 98% of the UK population (99% when outdoors) by the end of 2017 at the latest.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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