Britain raises £2.3 billion from 4G mobile auction
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
LONDON: Britain's government has raised £2.3 billion from its 4G mobile auction that will result in five telecoms companies providing the country with super-fast mobile Internet services, a watchdog said on Wednesday.
"After more than 50 rounds of bidding, Everything Everywhere Ltd, Hutchison 3G UK Ltd, Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc), Telefonica UK Ltd and Vodafone Ltd have all won spectrum," telecoms watchdog Ofcom said.
"This is suitable for rolling out new superfast mobile broadband services to consumers and to small and large businesses across the UK," it added in a statement.
Ofcom said the total bidding came to £2.341 billion ($3.615 billion, 2.692 billion euros)
Britain had in fact launched 4G services in October last year, allowing the country to catch up with the global roll-out.
Everything Everywhere -- formed by the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile networks in Britain -- went live with the service ahead of the full auction result.
4G, which operates five times faster than the current 3G network, allows users to download large e-mail attachments quickly, watch live television without buffering, make high-quality video calls and play live games on the go.
The service is available on Apple's iPhone 5 and 4G phones from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei.
Britain has meanwhile lagged behind the global roll-out of 4G, with about 45 countries -- including the United States, Germany and parts of Asia -- already offering the super-fast service to businesses and consumers.
Ofcom on Wednesday added that there had been failed 4G bids from MLL Telecom Ltd and HKT (UK) Company Ltd. (AFP)