updated 02:45 pm EDT, Fri April 4, 2008
UK 4G Wireless Auction
Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom on Friday confirmed that it would hold a new auction for wireless space in the country. Partly echoing the just-completed FCC auction in the US, the UK agency will allow portions of spectrum in the 2GHz and 2.6GHz spaces to be used for different wireless services. This is likely to involve fourth-generation data services such as "evolutions of 3G technology" or WiMAX, Ofcom says.
Officials also note that any granted frequency will be "flexible" and that companies buying licenses will have the option of trading any spectrum to other firms as they migrate to different formats. No timetable has been given for when bidding will first take place.
The auction is expected to have a similar effect to that of the American auction, which has resulted in early plans for Long Term Evolution networks from both AT&T and Verizon. Vodafone in Europe has already said it would use LTE but has not said which frequency it would use. A 2GHz or 2.6GHz LTE network would be incompatible with the US unless the wireless radio incorporated both frequency bands.
The 700MHz band has also been opened for international use, though it remains outside the scope of the Ofcom auction. [via mocoNews]