Ofcom says UK 4G auction could be delayed

Ofcom says UK 4G auction could be delayed
UK communications regulator warns that auction may be pushed back by several months.

Due to legal issues and complex technical details that need to be resolved, the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, is warning that the auction for next-generation 4G spectrum could be pushed back until sometime in the second quarter of 2012.

"Ofcom has been explicit in its aim to begin the 4G auction as soon as is practicable and this remains our objective," a spokesman said. "We are aiming to hold the auction in the first half of next year. However, we have always maintained it is an ambitious timescale."

Ofcom is aiming to impose strict limits on the amount of 4G spectrum that operators can hold. This, it argues, will ensure competition for 4G services. Some operators, like O2, are not happy with Ofcom's auction proposals and have hinted at possible legal action.

"We note that because these technical issues need to be resolved before networks can be built, it will not be possible for mobile operators to start rolling-out 4G networks until 2013 at the earliest, regardless of when the auction takes place," Ofcom's spokesman said.

Written by: James Delahunty @ 8 Sep 2011 1:10
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