UK's 4G auction to take place earlier than expected

UK's 4G auction to take place earlier than expected
Gavels at the ready, I'll start at...

Ofcom has set a reserve price for the forthcoming 4G auction, with the communication watchdog placing a modest £1.3 billion bounty on the two frequencies up for grabs.

Now before you launch into a rant about how £1.3 billion is by no means modest, we are comparing this to the staggering £22.5 billion the likes of O2, Orange and Vodafone splashed out in 2000 for the coveted 3G spectrum.

Back in July, Ofcom released a statement stating that the auction of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies would take place in early 2013, but the regulatory committee is now preparing to accept network applications with a provisional deadline of December 11.

Stop mocking me

To get us geared up for a frenzied bidding war Ofcom will be holding a seminar on the auction rules before the deadline, followed by mock auctions on the weeks commencing November 26 and December 3 – let's hope the real thing is televised, as that'll be a riveting watch…

The official deadline date and time will be revealed once the auction regulations have come into effect on November 23, so we'll hopefully get a better idea of when the actual auction will take place.

This is good news for the likes of O2, Three and Vodafone, who were more than a little miffed when EE (parent company of T-Mobile and Orange) was allowed to launch its 4G network ahead of the game last month.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.