Mobile network operators Everything Everywhere, Three, 02 owner Telefonica, Vodafone and fixed lines provider BT are among the bidders, Ofcom said.
Bidders, who will be competing to acquire new capacity to roll out superfast 4G mobile broadband services to locations across the UK, will be competing for spectrum in two separate bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said today: "The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.
"New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections."
Everything Everywhere, known as EE, has already launched 4G services in major British cities.