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Ofcom Significantly Delays UK 4G Mobile Broadband Auction to Q4 2012

Posted: 08th Oct, 2011 By: MarkJ
uk lte 3g 4g ofcom mobile broadbandofcomThe communications regulator, Ofcom UK, has officially confirmed that its forthcoming auction of re-farmed radio spectrum (800MHz and 2.6GHz) for the next generation of superfast 4G ( LTE ) Mobile Broadband services has been significantly delayed from Q1-2012 to Q4-2012.

Ofcom Auction Delay Statement

We received a number of substantial and strongly argued responses to this consultation. We have been reviewing these responses over the summer, and refining our analysis as a result. In light of these responses, and the significance of the decisions that we need to take - decisions that are likely to shape the future of the mobile sector in the UK for the next decade or more - we have decided to undertake a further round of consultation on these issues.

We plan to publish a further consultation document around the end of this year. We will then give stakeholders an appropriate period of time in which to comment on our refined analysis and respond to our revised proposals - likely to be at least 8 weeks. Our aim will then be to make our decision and publish a statement in the summer of 2012. The auction itself would then follow a few months later - perhaps starting in Q4 2012.

Ofcom believes that the delay, which follows legal pressure from O2 and "strongly argued responses" to its original consultation, will not "have a material impact on the timeline for the availability of new services to consumers". It anticipates that the first 4G services will still emerge towards the end of 2013 as originally envisaged.
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