UK 4G auction begins today

Seven major networks will begin bidding for 4G spectrum

With the EE 4G network already up and running the other major networks will soon have the opportunity to offer their own 4G service as Ofcom opens up the spectrum

Ofcom today announced that the auction for the UK's remaining 4G spectrum has begun with seven major networks all competing to get their own slice of the high-speed mobile service.

Taking several weeks, the auction will involve all seven major UK networks as they compete for a combination of bands which could then be combined to create the superfast mobile broadband spectrum.

With the UK classed as the most competitive mobile phone market in Europe it's likely that the bidding war will be a close one. By the end of the bidding process only four networks will have the chance to run a 4G network.

This exclusivity caused problems earlier in the year when Ofcom approved EE's application to turn it's own spectrum into a 4G service allowing the UK network a head start over the others which will now have to bid for free spectrum that has been set aside by the government.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive from Ofcom was keen to emphasise how important this auction is for bringing the UK up to speed with the rest of the world.

“It will release the essential raw material for the next wave of mobile digital services. This will change the way we consume digital media in both our personal and working lives and deliver significant benefits to millions of consumers and businesses across the country.”