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Ofcom confirms UK 4G auction for 2012

Long suffering smartphone overloaded networks are to gain some relief by 2012 with Ofcom’s decision to begin auctioning off the 4G mobile spectrum.

4G brings with it near home broadband speeds on your mobile and an additional 75 per cent more mobile spectrum than is currently used.

The auction will be one of the biggest in mobile network history, with 80 percent more space being sold than the 3G auction in 2000.

“This spectrum is essential to meet the UK’s rapid increase in mobile traffic, fuelled by the growth of smartphones and mobile broadband data services such as video streaming, email, messenger services, mapping services and social networking sites. All of these services depend on spectrum – the airwaves that carry information between customers’ mobile handsets and the internet”

Ofcom is proposing a combination of safeguards and coverage conditions that will promote competition and bring with it 95 percent mobile broadband coverage for the entire UK population.

Both low and high frequency spectrums will be made available, with the 800MHz for “widespread mobile coverage” and the 2.6GHz for higher speeds.

Ofcom has been vary careful to ensure that no single mobile network gets an advantage over another. The spectrum is to be split into five different floors which will allow the main mobile operators all to get a slice of the pie.

“We are proposing to design the auction in a way that not only encourages investment but also promotes competition and delivers wide coverage of services.” said Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards.

4G is set to play a major part in future mobile development in both the UK and the rest of the globe. Parts of the US already have the high speed networks set up and benefit from near broadband speeds on their mobile phones. Devices like the Motorola XOOM and HTC Evo either have or are to gain the functionality.

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