Applications to take part in the 4G auctions ended at 4pm on Tuesday and apparently at least five operators have submitted applications to OFCOM. The information comes from the Financial Times who have reported that the four major UK operators have submitted applications to bid on the 4G spectrum.
The four major operators are O2, Vodafone, EE and Three who are all keen to get their hands on the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum , which will be auctioned early next year. While , BT are also rumoured to have applied but are only thought to be interested in the cheaper 2.6 GHz spectrum.
The 800 MHz spectrum is the most important because it'll enable operators to offer super-fast 4G services over wide areas, while the 2.6 GHz spectrum is useful for providing better speeds in local areas.
BT might be planned to use the 2.6 GHz spectrum to provide 4G hot-spots in busy areas, , which wouldn't be such a bad idea !
Previously, we heard that Virgin Media were also interested in bidding on the 4G spectrum and it's still possible they submitted an application. Other rumours circulating are that a number of investment and foreign firms have considered buying up 4G LTE spectrum to rent it out.
In the past OFCOM have commented that the "Big Three" operators (EE, Vodafone and O2) are guaranteed to get some kind of 4G license. The last remaining license will then be issued to the highest bidder , which means that Three, BT , Virgin Media , and the others will have to battle it out to get their hands on the precious prize.
The good news for consumers is that whoever gets their hands on the 4G spectrum it'll result in wider 4G coverage and better value tariffs. 3G will be reporting all the latest news from the 4G auctions over the next couple of months.
By Simon Thomas on 14th December, 2012