UK's Ofcom to Delay 4G Mobile Broadband Spectrum Auction

UK telecom regulator Ofcom has delayed the auction of the 4G mobile broadband spectrum following legal threats from mobile phone carriers like O2.

The auction, which was to be the biggest spectrum auction ever in the UK, was supposed to take place in the first quarter of 2012. However, the regulator informs that it might take place in the second quarter of next year.

Ofcom was supposed to publish a report detailing the auction this month, but after legal threats by several mobile phone carriers including O2, the regulator has decided to publish the document in November, thereby by delaying the auction.

“We are still aiming for the first half of next year. However, we have always maintained it is an ambitious timescale,” an Ofcom spokesperson told The Guardian.

“This is a complex area, involving a large number of technical and competition issues that we need to consider and resolve before finalising proposals. For example, a very high proportion of households in the UK rely on Digital Terrestrial TV – Freeview – which needs to be relocated before 4G can be rolled out,” the spokesperson added.