Ofcom Lays Out Revised 4G Spectrum Auction Plan

Ofcom, the UK telecom regulator, revised the plans of mobile 4G spectrum auction to be held this year and has removed "guarantees" for two UK networks as well as boosted the rural coverage.

Towards the end of 2012, the largest ever auction for British airwaves space will be held where telecom companies will get opportunity to bid for acquiring the spectrum required for enabling 4G network for smartphones and tablets.

On Thursday, Ofcom published a report on rules and a probable timeline for the already delayed auction and according to it 98 per cent UK population will get access to the new mobile broadband as compared to 95 per cent proposed earlier.

The auction, which could earn £3 billion for the Treasury and millions in annual licence fees, was subject to delays because of government interventions coupled with multiple threats of legal steps made by mobile phone networks, reported The Guardian.

The revised rules took away the previous guarantees from Three as well as Everything Everywhere mobile phone networks. Earlier both the networks were guaranteed that a specific amount of valuable spectrum in 800MHz band will be reserved for them. There may be some reservation at a later date for Three but, reservation for Everything Everywhere has been ruled out.

Ofcom, by summer, will be publishing the auction design followed by the auction during the fourth quarter of 2012.