UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has announced its plans to hold an auction for the next-generation 4G mobile phone spectrum in early 2012.
The regulator said that the auction, which is being touted as the largest mobile spectrum auction ever, will allow mobile operators to offer super-fast mobile broadband. Ofcom also said that it will be assigning limits on how much of the spectrum each operator can purchase in order to ensure healthy market competition.
Long-term evolution or LTE 4G wireless networks will offer mobile internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, the regulator said, adding that it will be auctioning the spectrum in five chunks. Mobile operators will be given the minimum and maximum spectrum limits that they can purchase in the auction.
The 2.6GHz wireless spectrum that will be auctioned off by Ofcom is the spectrum that will be freed following the switch over from analogue to digital TV, which will be completed this summer.
Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards said in a statement, “Our role as the independent regulator is to award this spectrum in a way that secures the best use of the spectrum for the benefit of citizens and consumers in the UK.”
Wireless carriers in the US like Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have already started rolling out their LTE 4G offerings in the country.