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Three UK Joins O2 In Warning Over 4G Auction Process

Three UK has become the second mobile phone operator after O2 to publicly express its concern over the way the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, is dealing with the process of auctioning the country's mobile spectrum, which is scheduled to take place in 2012.

More specifically, according to the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), Three UK highlighted the fact that "insufficient weight has been placed" on the correlation between the 4G mobile spectrum auction and the refarming of the 900MHz and 1800Mhz spectrum that took place earlier this year.

The refarming allowed some operators to use 2G spectrum to deliver 3G services and put Three UK at a competitive disadvantage given the fact that it is the smallest of the four UK mobile carriers and lies far behind the big three.

Three UK says that Ofcom needs to come up with "certain modifications and clarifications" to its proposal, that take into consideration the "competitive distortions" that could have followed January's refarming.

55 entities have submitted their proposals to Ofcom including individuals, consumer groups and FTSE100 companies like BT Group and even Google.

The auction is expected to raise a few billion pounds which will come handy at a time when the UK Government is currently undertaking austerity measures to boost revenues and reduce costs. Both Vodafone and Everything Everywhere, the two remaining UK major mobile network operators, have yet to publicly come forward with their proposals.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.