EE have already launched their 4G LTE services in the UK , but the other operators have to wait for the 4G auctions to take place next year. The good news is that OFCOM have now released all the details regarding the auctions !
OFCOM have unveiled that the provisional date for submission is the 11th December with operators nailed on to apply including O2, Vodafone, Three with Virgin Media being a possible 4th entry. Accepted applicants will then be able to bid in January with bidding taking place remotely over a secure internet connection.
The winners of the auction will then be unveiled in February or March when the 4G grants are issued. The roll-out of 4G will then take place in May or June , which is when consumers will finally be able to start enjoying the service.
OFCOM have placed a combined reserve of £11 billion on the 4G spectrum, so a huge investment is needed from the operators. For this reason initial 4G prices could be inflated to cover the operators initial investments, but with so much competition we'd still expect them to be pretty reasonable.
4G is up to five times faster than current 3G speeds and brings much faster web-browsing, download speeds and media streaming.
A whole host of 4G smartphones are already available from EE including the iPhone 5, Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC One XL. However, these smartphones won't work with the 4G spectrums being auctioned next year, so tweaked versions of the mobiles will need to be produced.
3G will be reporting on all the developments in the 4G auctions and bringing you news of all the new 4G smartphones announced in the coming months.