4G auction underway as Ofcom welcomes applications

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Ofcom today received applications and deposits for 4G licences from operators, which will be assessed this month before bidding begins in January

The first stage of the auction for 4G licences was completed today as applications and deposits for spectrum were submitted to Ofcom.

The window for applying for 4G licences, which opened at 10am today, has now closed. Ofcom says it will release details of who put down a deposit – set at £100,000 – either just before Christmas or in early January. By the end of the month it will also decide who is qualified to go on to bid.

O2, Vodafone, Three and EE are all understood to have applied. Virgin Media, BT and BSkyB have indicated throughout the year that they will not be bidding in the auction.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: “We have fired the starting gun on the 4G auction process. In the past year alone, mobile internet usage has doubled. The 4G auction will release crucial capacity to support future growth, helping to boost UK productivity, innovation and drive significant improvements to mobile broadband availability across the UK.”

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