May 14, 2012

Ofcom Confirm 4G Spectrum Auction

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The long awaited 4G auction from Ofcom has been outlined further by Ofcom. Ofcom has stated that at least 4 mobile operators will be supported to provide 4G services whilst ensuring a fair competition policy.

One of the main areas Ofcom aim to address, as far as is possible, that mobile coverage penetration in rural areas is maximised. In particular,those rural areas not currently serviced.

The removal of Analogue TV signal transmission in the UK now means that the 800 MHz spectrum band that it used to use can now be used as 4G spectrum. £150 million pounds has been pledged by the UK government for those mobile operators who provide better 4G services to remote villages.

Ofcom are hoping that the auction conditions and the £150 million support package from the government mean that one 4G mobile operator reaches 98% of the UK population whilst each has to reach 95% of UK coverage as a condition of the auction.

Another element of the 4G Auction is the 2.6GHz band of spectrum which is a higher frequency, higher bandwidth spectrum only effective over shorter distances so Ofcom state this is ideal for4G hotspots within hospitals and university campuses.

Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said: “This is a crucial step in preparing for the most significant spectrum release in the UK for many years. The proposals published today will influence the provision of services to consumers for the next decade and beyond”.