Ofcom confirms 4G auction bidders

Ofcom has announced the participants in the UK’s largest-ever telecoms spectrum auction which is predicted to kick off the widespread take-up of super fast 4G mobile internet services.

4G Britain

The UK’s major mobile operator groups Everything Everywhere (EE), Telefonica (O2), Hutchison 3G (Three) and Vodafone have been confirmed as bidders as they seek to meet the growing demand for mobile data among consumers.

These major operators will also be joined in the auction, scheduled to take place in January 2013 by BT Group subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, HKT Company, a subsidiary of PCCW or Hong Kong Telecom and MLL Telecom.

The auction is set to increase the amount of mobile airwaves by over 75 per cent from existing levels, a legacy of the analogue TV switch off, with Ofcom intending to make 4G mobile broadband services more widely available across the UK as part of the process.

In a statement issued earlier this morning, Ofcom says the completion of the auction would help facilitate mobile internet speeds comparable to existing home broadband speeds making services such as streaming high-quality video and live TV more feasible on mobile devices.

The UK’s largest operator Everything Everywhere launched its EE brand in October this year, in addition to its existing Orange and T-Mobile brands, as it debuted 4G mobile services in the UK, after Ofcom permitted it to use its existing spectrum allocation to launch the services.

The operator’s 4G service was initially set to launch in 16 cities across the UK by the close of 2012 with efforts to promote it among consumers fronted by Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon with a campaign entitled “six degrees of Bacon” highlighting how everything can be connected, see below.


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here