The long awaiting 4G auction has been won and now a number of mobile operators will be able to offer fourth generation mobile broadband to their customers.
The auction was won by Orange and T-Mobile’s new venture EE, O2, Vodaphone and the lesser known Niche Spectrum Ventures and Hutchinson 3G UK. The highest bid came from Vodaphone and stood at £791million, in which it gained a whole 5 sections of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums.
The government have faced criticism already regarding the optimistic targets set prior to the auction. The bids were expected to raise £3.5billion but the total raised came in at a whole £1.16 billion shy of this figure at £2.34 billion. The government has defended itself by highlighting the economic benefits the service will bring to the UK in the coming years.
4G will provide 98% of the UK population with super fast mobile broadband coverage, a considerable percentage higher than the current 3G spectrum. The most noticeable improvement, aside from the improved download speed is the strength of signal indoors, the biggest flaw in the current 3G spectrum.
4G services are expected to become available in summer 2013.