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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.