In what will mark the end of EE’s monopoly over 4G networks across Britain, telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced seven companies that can bid for new airwaves in Britain.
BT, Hong Kong’s PCCW Ltd and networks firm MLL Telecom will join EE, Vodafone, O2 owner Telefonica and Three’s parent company Hutchison in the 4G race.
Qualified companies will bid for spectrum in two separate bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. With the auction, airwaves available for mobiles will increase by 75%.
Out of the seven bidders, Ofcom will give the 4G license to four companies.
Speaking about the auction, Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive said: “New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK, and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections.”
The auction will take place in January 2013, licences will be granted in March and services can roll out starting May.
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