The regulator has announced that the auctions will start in late 2012 and will run till early 2013.. “Mobile operators are expected to start rolling out 4G networks using the auctioned spectrum from the middle of 2013, and to start offering 4G services to consumers later that year,” according to Ofcom notes The Wall Street Journal.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s CEO said that the auction has been designed to, “deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across the U.K.”
Consumers will be able to download email attachments, surf the web and stream videos on their mobile devices from almost every home across the UK he added.
The 4G auction was announced was initially announced back in March 2011 with a proposed auction period of early 2012. This didn’t go down as planned because of opposition from industry players as well as threats of legal actions.
Ofcom had put forward a proposal on how much each mobile operator can buy. Further the regular decided that it will be reserving some spectrum for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. U.K. as it is the smallest among the mobile operators in UK. This didn’t go down well with other operators and the auction plan went down the dungeon with time.
The plan is to sell off 80% more mobile spectrum than the previous 3G auction that happened back in 2000. Should this go through as planned, 98% of UK shall be getting mobile broadband coverage.