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UK prepping 4G spectrum auction for late next year

Chris Ziegler

The wireless spectrum crunch isn't a uniquely American phenomenon; with smartphones now infecting most of the developed world, everyone's dealing with the very same limitations of physics, and the UK looks finally lined up for a late-2010 auction of two key slices of airwaves after wrestling with some bureaucratic garbage for the past year. Specifically, the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands are at play here, the former having come from the country's transition to digital TV; both will serve distinctly different roles, with 800MHz being better for building penetration and rural coverage and 2600MHz suiting urban areas better. Sadly, it means that we're moving even further away from global spectrum harmony, seeing how the US is using 700MHz and 2500MHz for 4G services so far -- so don't expect a single handset SKU capable of handling LTE anywhere in the world any time soon.

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