12/11/2012 12:09:40 PM
4G auction process begins with bidders stumping up £100,000
Potential bidders for 4G spectrum have until 4pm today to apply to take part in next year's auction, at a cost of £100,000.
The bidders, which will include the UK's four operators, will be formally revealed towards the end of 2012 or early 2013. Each will have to make an initial deposit of £100,000. The bidding process will start in January, with 4G services likely to be launched by rivals to 4G-ready EE by spring. Ofcom will spend the time between today and the auction reviewing the applications and ensuring there is no overlap between competing bidders. The Government is hoping to raise £3.5bn from the auction.
Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: 'We have fired the starting gun on the 4G auction process. In the past year alone, mobile internet usage has doubled. The 4G auction will release crucial capacity to support future growth, helping to boost UK productivity, innovation and drive significant improvements to mobile broadband availability across the UK.'
Editor: Graeme Neill