Ofcom will take over delayed auction of 4G

Oliver Smith
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THE MINISTRY of Defence (MOD) will delay the sale of valuable 4G spectrum to mobile operators by two years as it hands over management of the sale to Ofcom, the MOD has announced.

The minister for defence equipment, support and technology, Philip Dunne, quoted Ofcom’s experience in handling similar auctions as the reason for the MOD’s decision to hand over the sale.

“Ofcom are experienced in managing radio spectrum sales. I am confident they will oversee a competitive and fair process.”

4G spectrum is currently in high demand as mobile operators Everything Everywhere (EE), Vodafone, O2 and Three roll out their high-speed networks across the UK.

The original auction for the MOD’s 200 megahertz of 4G spectrum was planned to close by summer 2014, however now the sale is not expected to close until late 2015 or 2016.

Ofcom’s auction of 4G spectrum in February raised £1.2bn, less than the expected £3.5bn and significantly less than the £22.5bn raised in 2000 during the auction for 3G spectrum.