UK Plots 4G Spectrum Auction

12:55 PM -- Blimey! It looks as if the UK is actually going to auction off some 4G spectrum sometime next year. (See UK OK's 4G Spectrum Auction.)

The UK government gave the green light to plans to auction new spectrum that is suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. The government wants regulator Ofcom to organize an auction for 2.6GHz and 800MHz spectrum "as soon as possible." By some estimates, that means the end of 2011.

The plan also calls for 2G 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum to be "liberalized" so that it can be used for 3G services. And the government wants 3G licenses to be valid indefinitely.

It's about time the UK got its act together when it comes to mobile broadband spectrum. Ofcom has been trying to auction the 2.6GHz spectrum since at least early 2008. And its attempt to let operators use their 900MHz spectrum for 3G services has been stuck in a mire of legal challenges for years. (See Ofcom Delays 2.6GHz Auction, T-Mobile Challenges Ofcom, Ofcom Lawsuit Looms, Down on the (Re)Farm, and UK Operators Brace for Spectrum Struggle.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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