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UK 4G spectrum set to be auctioned off next year

Ofcom, the UK version of the FCC, is currently sitting on two fat bands of prime 4G spectrum, at 800MHz and 2.6GHz, but it won't be doing so for long. This morning has seen an announcement from the independent regulator that it's looking to sell off those airwaves to the highest bidder, as early as 2012, pending the conclusion of a consultation on how to ensure the auction helps promote, rather than stifle, competition. The 800MHz band comes directly from spectrum freed up by the country's transition to digital television, and together with the 2.6GHz is equivalent to three quarters of all the mobile spectrum the UK uses today. The usual suspects of O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere will be vying for prime position in the next wave of superspeedy internet ... we just wonder how 3G-centric network Three will react to the news.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]