4G spectrum bidders confirmed by Ofcom

The 4G race is hotting up, with Ofcom confirming the runners and riders for the battle of the spectrum.

It's a list you can probably guess in part, with a few extra names thrown into the mix just to spice things up. That means Vodafone, Telefonica (owners of O2), Hutchison 3G (which owns the Three network) and perhaps surprisingly EE, in light of the company already having its own network. Expansion obviously on the cards there.

Alongside those companies comes BT via subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures (which sounds like a company name straight out of a sitcom), business supplier MLL Telecom and the UK section of Hong Kong network provider PCCW, known as HKT.

With Ofcom keen to create competition in the market with four national services, it looks like the big four will all get a piece of the action, that action being the 800MHz and 2,600MHz spectrum bands. The auction should raise £3.5bn when all that bidding is over, all of which will be fed back into the UK economy. Which is good news for all of us.

That auction kicks off next month, with services likely to launch in the summer of 2013. We'll find out then if Ofcom's plans for competition equates to a good deal for us, the consumer. Or whether the current EE pricing is set to be the market norm.

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