British communications regulator, Ofcom, have announced this week that the sale of the 4G phone service will go ahead as soon as January next year.
It is hoped that by auctioning the fourth generation phone service, it will enable more than 98 per cent of the population to have access to 4G, the improved technology which provides a much higher performing internet broadband service than the current 3G technology.
Although Everyone Everywhere (EE) launched the first 4G service in October this year, the remaining 4G frequencies will be auctioned off to the biggest bidders, with both Vodafone and O2 to be great contenders.
The big question which is on everybody’s lips, though, is exactly how much will the 4G frequencies sell at auction?
George Osbourne, in his autumn budget, announced spending which heavily relies on making £3.5 billion through the sale of 4G. This falls remarkably short of the £22.5 billion figure which the selling of the 3G service made back in 2000. However, this drop in value is to be expected, as networks complained that they were sold the 3G frequencies at an inflated price, and have since struggled to make back their money on the investment.
Ofcom are insisting that the battle over 4G remains fair, however, putting some of the frequency aside for smaller networks to bid on. They have asserted that having four wholesalers providing 4G will ensure that the service remains at a fair and low price, which will benefit the general population of mobile phone users.
So it seems that the battle is on, who will come out triumphant in bidding for the much wanted 4G spectrum frequencies? More importantly, just how much money will the auction rake in?