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Ofcom

Ofcom has announced that bidding is now under way on its 4G spectrum auction.

Seven companies, including the UK’s top four mobile providers, will bid to secure new airwaves suitable for superfast mobile broadband services.

Vodafone, Telefonica O2, Everything Everywhere, 3 owner Hutchinson 3G UK, BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, backhaul specialist MLL Telecom and HKT (UK) Company are the confirmed bidders.

The interested parties will compete for 28 lots of spectrum in two separate bands – 800MHz and 2.6GHz. The two bands will amount to 250MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333MHz currently in use.

“This combination of low and high frequency spectrum creates the potential for 4G mobile broadband services to be widely available across the UK, while offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres,” said Ofcom in a statement.

Spectrum will be sold through a “combinatorial clock” auction in which bidders attempt to acquire a combination of spectrum lots from across both 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands by telling Ofcom what they are willing to pay for specific combinations.

At the start of each round, the governing body sets a price for each lot and the bidder specifies which combinations they are interested in. Price will be increased for the most in-demand lots as the rounds go on until supply meets demand.

A further round of bidding will see unsold lots go under the hammer, with the winner bidder paying the smallest amount they would have needed to bid in order to win.

Ofcom has set a reserve price of 1.36 billion for the spectrum, but the UK government is targeting a windfall of 3.5 billion.

Article: RSS via Digital Spy

Fibre optic too

Everything Everywhere has ditched the name, er, Everything Everywhere to launch a new brand to sit alongside Orange and T-Mobile in its network family.

Called EE, the new service which, from today (11 September), will become the umbrella network for Orange and T-Mobile, promises to be a super fast brand when it launches in a couple of weeks time. Olaf Swantee, the CEO of the newly named company, also confirmed at a press conference in London that there will be a range of 4G-enabled devices from launch.

In a first for a mobile operator in the UK, EE will not only be offering 4G in the UK, but also a fixed line fibre optic broadband service for customers in the home. The company claims that the broadband network will cover 11 million households by the end of the year.

Swantee also said that current Orange and T-Mobile customers will be able to either stay on their current offering, or upgrade to the faster network to benefit from the new services.

The 4G network will be launching today for live testing in four major UK cities; London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. A full consumer launch is planned for before Christmas, covering 16 cities across the country.

“London will be the first major European city to be covered by 4G,” said Swantee. “We plan to have 4G services available to 20 million in the UK. The EE network will cover 70 per cent by 2013, 90 per cent of UK by 2014.”

Brands and smartphones planned to work on the EE network include the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S III and, yes, the iPhone 5 – as Pocket-lint exclusively told you a couple of weeks ago. Certain HTC and Huawei handsets and mobile dongles (in the case of the latter) are also expected to be compatible.

Super fast data

Apple has announced the iPhone 5 in San Francisco today and, as we revealed last week, confirmed that the new iPhone 5 would be available with 4G LTE on the EE network.

EE launched the UK’s first LTE network in London yesterday, 11 September, initially announcing several devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One XL.

The UK’s 4G rollout is under way now, with 16 cities benefiting from coverage by the end of December 2012, according to EE, which was formed as a new brand from the Everything Everywhere co-operation of Orange and T-Mobile.

During the press launch for EE, the company strongly hinted that the iPhone 5 would be coming to its network, now confirmed by Apple.

The iPhone 5 won’t be an EE exclusive however, as it’s rolling out on other networks with support for other data connections already in place on the likes of Vodafone and O2.

Super fast data

Apple has announced the iPhone 5 in San Francisco today and, as we revealed last week, confirmed that the new iPhone 5 would be available with 4G LTE on the EE network.

EE launched the UK’s first LTE network in London yesterday, 11 September, initially announcing several devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One XL.

The UK’s 4G rollout is under way now, with 16 cities benefiting from coverage by the end of December 2012, according to EE, which was formed as a new brand from the Everything Everywhere co-operation of Orange and T-Mobile.

During the press launch for EE, the company strongly hinted that the iPhone 5 would be coming to its network, now confirmed by Apple.

The iPhone 5 won’t be an EE exclusive however, as it’s rolling out on other networks with support for other data connections already in place on the likes of Vodafone and O2.