Seven UK businesses have thrown their hat into the ring to launch 4G mobile services in 2013, it has been revealed.
Media regulator Ofcom has announced the qualifying bidders for the upcoming 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum auctions, which will be carried out from January.
Parent companies representing EE, Orange, T-Mobile, BT, O2, Three, Vodafone and UK Broadband are among the firm’s to have met Ofcom’s auction criteria and paid the required deposit.
The organisations will go to head for spectrum, which will allow them to launch super-fast mobile broadband services across the UK.
At present, EE is the only one of the major broadband providers to have a 4G offering, which is currently limited to a handful of cities.
The firm has launched super-fast mobile broadband using its existing 1,800MHz spectrum – a move which proved unpopular with EE’s rivals.
But when the Ofcom 4G auction is complete, a host of other firms will be able to launch super-fast mobile broadband.
This will help increase service coverage, and with additional competition, may help consumers access better value deals.
Smartphone, tablet and dongle users will be able to take advantage of 4G services to access super-fast mobile broadband on the move.
This will enable them to take advantage of mobile working opportunities, which can have a significant positive impact on productivity rates, individual performance and company output.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards, said: “The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.
“New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections.”