Ofcom has announced that its January 4G auction will feature seven bidders. The upcoming spectrum allocation is expected to result in a bandwidth increase of more than 75 per cent.
As expected, leading UK networks EE, BT, Vodafone, O2 and Three will be at the party, joined by fully managed network specialist MLL telecom and PCCW, a Hong Kong-based telecoms firm. In all, the bidding process is anticipated to generate around £3.5 billion.
The auction's format has been previously outlined by Ofcom at the commencement of the application process, with licenses due to be granted by March to enable the new services to launch in May and June.
“The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond,” explained Ed Richards, Ofcom’s CEO.
“New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections,” he added.
The desire for increased competitiveness is predicated on a July Ofcom report which concluded “that UK consumers are likely to benefit from better services at lower prices if there are at least four credible national wholesalers of mobile services.”