UK 4G auction date set – networks up by Summer 2013

4G LogoUK is on track to get hooked up with an abundance of 4G by the middle of next year.

Ofcom has announced further details regarding the auction for 4G services in the UK, following the launch of the 4G EE service at the end of October.

Networks looking to get in on the 4G party – Vodafone and O2, I’m looking at you – will have until December 11th to submit their proposals in order to be included in the auction process. If successful, 4G services could be offered by all mobile operators in the UK by early summer. Win!

Unleashing the new spectrum will allow superfast 4G mobile services to be offered across the UK and will almost double the amount of airwaves currently available to smartphones and tablets that use 3G networks.

“Today marks an important shift from preparation to the delivery of the auction, which will see widespread 4G mobile services from a range of providers,” said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive. “The entire industry is now focused on the auction itself, with a shared goal of delivering new and improved mobile services for consumers.”

Ofcom has confirmed the reserve prices for the spectrum that is being auctioned. The combined total is £1.3 billion.

EE launched its 4G service at the end of October but, word is, that many have felt their tariffs are too steep – even for the cutting-edge speeds.

When more networks get hooked up I am hoping to see a bit of a competitive battle.

Timeline of the auction

  • 11 December 2012: The application day

Prospective bidders submit their applications to Ofcom together with an initial deposit.

  • December 2012: Qualification stage

Applications are reviewed to determine who can go on to bid in the auction.

  • January 2013: The principal stage

Bidding begins. This could take a number of weeks. Bids will be placed online over secure internet connections, using software that has been developed specifically for the auction.

  • February/March 2013: The assignment stage

Bidders informed what they have won and its cost.

Enhanced by Zemanta