The seven companies which are to place bids to win the 4G bandwidth have been announced by Ofcom.
EE, Vodaphone, BT, Telephonica, PCCW, Hutchinson Whampoa and MLL will all place bids to win the rights to 4G.
Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-mobile’s collaborative company) has been offering 4G to users since October after being granted the rights to the bandwidth but will bid to win a larger slice of the spectrum. The main network operators in the UK are all hoping to win rights to offer the service. Both 02 and 3 will bid under their senior operators – Telefonica, the Spanish brand that owns 02 and the Hong Kong based telecommunications corporation Hutchison Whampoa that operate the UKs 3 network. The final four companies are Vodaphone, BT, major Hong Kong communications company PCCW and Buckinghamshire based MLL Telecoms.
The 4G auction will begin in March 2013 and services will be launched by the winners by May and June of the same year. The spectrum of airwave available for phones will be increased by 75% with the introduction of fourth generation communications.
The digital switch over has freed the 800MHz radio spectrum and the higher frequency 2.6GHz. The higher frequency is best adapted for data transmission, although suffers in rural areas due to restricted reception.
The auction is expected to raise £3.5 billion and consumers can expect to receive download speeds up to 7 times faster than existing 3G.