The 4G auctions are due to begin in January when bidding starts and the government have announced that they expect to generate £3.5 billion from the 4G licenses.
The information was unveiled by George Osbourne in his Autumn statement which he delivered yesterday. The revenue will generated by the four major operators Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 who are all keen to get their hands on the 4G LTE wireless spectrum.
The £3.5 billion figure might sound spectacular, but it's far less than was generated by the 3G auctions which took place back in 2000. The 3G auctions generated a massive £22 billion in revenue, but the operators soon regretted the expenditure because they failed to generate as much revenue as they predicted from the licenses.
EE are the only operator currently offering 4G in the UK after OFCOM gave them approval to use existing spectrum to provide 4G to its customers. Unfortunately for the other operators they don't have any spare spectrum to provide the service and consequently have to wait until after the auctions to offer 4G to their customers.
EE have been making the most of their period being the exclusive provider of 4G in the UK. They've conduced a huge marketing campaign headed up by Kevin Bacon , although they have come in for criticism for the amount of data included in their 4G smartphone tariffs.
3G will be reporting on the news related to the 4G auctions and the roll-out of 4G in the UK in the coming months !