2013 – the year of 4G
21st December 2012
2013 is set to be the year of 4G - the superfast mobile spectrum which will allow smartphones to rival browsing speeds of home broadband and really take off.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has today (Thursday) announced the full list of bidders which have qualified for the UK 4G spectrum auction. They are:
- Everything Everywhere Limited (UK)
- HKT (UK) Company Limited (a subsidiary of PCCW Limited)
- Hutchison 3G UK Limited
- MLL Telecom Ltd
- Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of BT Group plc)
- Telefónica UK Limited (owners of the O2 brand)
- Vodafone Limited
The auction begins in January and companies are expected to have
licences by March with services in place for customers by May or
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr
welcomed confirmation of the auction. He said: "It's great
to have this exciting step forward for the mobile market to look
forward to in 2013. The 4G spectrum auction was originally due to
go ahead in early 2012 so it is good news for mobile users and
important for the UK that we will finally join the many other
countries around the globe already using 4G services."
The government indicated in the Chancellor's Autumn
Statement that it hopes to make around £3.5 billion from the
sale of 4G spectrum. "We'd like to see a portion of that
reinvested in superfast broadband services, particularly for rural
areas where the market will not be likely to invest in expensive
infrastructure" explained Andy.
"We also hope that the 4G auction will lead to more jobs in the mobile industry by consolidating the importance of this industry to businesses and consumers alike. The staff who sell, service and maintain these services will be crucial to its ongoing success."
Mobile operator Everything Everywhere (the merger of Orange and
T-Mobile) launched its own 4G network in October 2012 using
existing bandwidth, and sold a portion to small operator Three. EE
will need more spectrum to prevent its service from being
'patchy' and so is taking part in the auction next year.
Commenting on the spectrum auction, Ed
Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "The 4G
auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape
of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond. New
4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the
UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of
better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband
For more information, visit the Ofcom website: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2012/12/4g-auction-bidders-announced/