BT, EE, O2, Vodafone and Three get go-ahead to bid in 4G auction


Ofcom announced seven bidders for the 4G auction in January including BT and the UK’s four major operators

Seven bidders have qualified for the UK’s first ever auction of 4G licences.

EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have all had their applications for 4G spectrum, which they submitted to Ofcom last week, accepted by the regulator.

BT will take part in the auction, as its subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited.

Buckinghamshire based network supplier MLL Telecom Ltd will also be bidding in the auction, expected to start in January.

A Hong-Kong based company which provides mobile services there has similarly qualified to bid, under a subsidiary HKT (UK) Company Limited.

Virgin Media and BSkyB have decided not to bid for spectrum.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: “The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.

“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.”