The UK 4G auctions officially began yesterday with operators wishing to take part in the bidding required to submit their applications. The operators had until 4pm to apply to bid in the auctions and had to pay a £100,000 deposit as a statement of intent.
For Vodafone and O2 it's a been a long and difficult wait for the 4G auctions to begin because EE have already been offering 4G for a couple of months. Both the aforementioned operators are sure to bid in the auctions and will be looking to take a large chunk of the 800 MHz and 2.6 MHz spectrums being auctioned.
EE don't need to bid because their 4G LTE network is already live in the UK thanks to the spectrum they obtained when they bought both Orange and T-Mobile. EE have even sold some of their spare spectrum to Three , which the operator will use to offer 4G in the second half of next year.
Virgin Media could well bid in the 4G auctions , while it's still possible that Three have bid in order to obtain additional spectrum. Whoever bids in the auctions they are sure to generate a substantial amount of capital for the government , who have predicted that they will generate £3.5 billion in revenue.
All operators who apply to bid in the auctions will have their application reviewed and veted by OFCOM , who will then unveil successful applications before the end of the year. Bidding will take place in January with the winners being unveiled in February or March !
Consumers should expect to begin enjoying 4G on other operators in May or June. This will drive down prices and ensure better value tariffs are available !
By Simon Thomas on 12th December, 2012