Ofcom gives the green light to £5bn mobile airwaves sale
Friday 13 January 2012
Ofcom has unveiled plans to increase mobile phone spectrum by 75 per cent in an auction that could raise £5bn in what is likely to be the Government's single biggest sale of state assets in this Parliament.
Ed Richards, Ofcom's chief executive, described the sell-off as "the most significant spectrum release in the UK for many years".
Analysts have suggested the auction will raise more than the proceeds of any sale of Royal Mail or Urenco, the uranium processor.
Ofcom wants to stage the auction by the end of the year, but some mobile phone networks are impatient that the Government has not moved faster.
Networks are facing a surge in demand from users of smartphones and tablets, with mobile data consumption forecast to jump fivefold over the next five years.
Ofcom is offering extra spectrum, known as 4G, as the old analogue TV signal is switched off this year.
The regulator, which believes that consumers would be best served by four networks, revised its plans after carrying out an initial consultation last year.
Each mobile network faces limits on the amount of spectrum for which it can bid.
Ofcom also said two of the networks – Three and Everything Everywhere, the parent company of T-Mobile and Orange – will no longer be guaranteed any specific chunk of new spectrum.
James Barford of Enders Analysis said: "On a quick view versus the previous consultation, Vodafone and O2 have done well, Three has done less well and Everything Everywhere is mixed."
Mr Richards wants 4G coverage to reach 98 per cent of the UK population. One licence for the new spectrum will require coverage of so-called "not spots" in rural areas, with £150m of support from the Department of Culture.
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked 4Chan photos
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...