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UK's 4G auction starts today, gavels at the ready

UK's 4G auction starts today, gavels at the ready
Is that the sound of a cheque book opening?

Ofcom has thrown open the doors to the UK's 4G spectrum auction to the seven hungry bidders eager to get a slice of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz action.

It's the largest mobile spectrum auction ever to take place in the UK with the space on offer equivalent to three quarters of the current mobile spectrum.

In the running for the spectrum are Everything Everywhere Limited, HKT (UK) Company Limited, Hutchison 3G UK Limited (Three), MLL Telecom Ltd, Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (read: BT), Telefonica UK Limited (O2) and Vodafone Limited.

No updates on progress

Sadly we won't be able to keep you updated on the progress of the auction and how much money the bidders are ploughing into the 4G cause with Ofcom keeping everything behind closed doors until it concludes.

More frustratingly there doesn't seem to be a specific end date for the auction, with Ofcom saying it will "conclude in a number of weeks."

The auction will allow more networks to offer 4G mobile data, with the likes of O2, Vodafone and 3 wanting to challenge EE which was allowed to launch its 4G service early.

It's not just 4G mobile connectivity on the cards however with the likes of BT looking to acquire some of the spectrum to improve its broadband coverage, especially in rural areas.

John McCann

John joined TechRadar 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 of 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.