Ofcom has announced plans to auction off a new batch of high frequency 4G spectrum, in hopes to improve speedy mobile broadband coverage across the UK before the end of the year.
The telecoms regulator will award the majority of the 2.3GHz and3.4GHz band spectrum to the UK's leading mobile operators in 2015.The rest will be released after BT's deal to acquire EE, andThree's acquisition of O2, are both given the green light bycompetition authorities.
Ofcom is currently concerned that awarding the entire spectrumcould unbalance the market, especially if either of those dealseventually fall through. Most, however, will still be auctioned offby early 2016 at the latest.
The watchdog is currently deciding how best to proceed with anauction format, and is talking with potential buyers about theprocess. It is expected to make a final decision when the talksconclude next month.
The spectrum is currently being used by the Ministry of Defence,but the government's pledge to reallocate public sector spectrumfor other uses mean that mobile operators can now boost their 4Gcapacity. In turn, this'll improve services for customers acrossthe country.
Ofcom said in a statement: "Ofcom's objective is to award thefrequencies in a way that will allow consumers to enjoy greateraccess to high-capacity mobile internet without undue delay."
"Today's consultation invites potential bidders to comment on anoption where Ofcom would award most of the newly available spectrumlater this year, or early in 2016. The remaining frequencies wouldbe held back for award at a later date."
Source: Digital Spy
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