The 4G auctions began back in December when OFCOM invited potential bidders to apply to take part in the auctions. Just before Christmas they then announced the 7 successful applicants who would take part in the auctions !
Now the official bidding has begun where EE, Vodafone, Three, O2, BT, MLL Telecom and PCCW are all hoping to get their hands on some precious 4G wireless spectrum. The bidding process itself is pretty complicated and we won't bore you with with the exact details, but it's being done remotely via computers.
Two different types of 4G spectrum are being auctioned with the 2.6 Ghz frequency more suitable for widespread 4G coverage and the 800 Mhz spectrum more suitable for delivering high-speed 4G networks.
The four major UK operators are pretty much guaranteed to get some 4G spectrum and are then expected to begin rolling out their 4G networks in April, May or June of this year. The rest of the spectrum is up for grabs and we're interested to find out how the other bidders will use their 4G spectrum.
Late last year OFCOM enabled EE to offer 4G in the UK ahead of the other operators and they already offer a wide range of smartphones and tablets in the UK. The other operators have a lot of ground to make up and are doing all they can to launch their 4G networks as soon as possible !
EE's 4G tariffs have been criticised for being overpriced and not coming with enough inclusive 4G data. The launch of other operators 4G networks will be good for consumers because there'll be more competition which ultimately leads to better deals !
By Simon Thomas on 24th January, 2013