UK regulator announces the winners of the country's 4G spectrum auction

Ofcom announces 4G auction winners, raises less than forecast

Regulator Ofcom has announced that £2.34bn has been raised from its auction of the UKs 4G spectrum.

However, the sum was well below the figured anticipated by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which forecast that the auction would generate £3.5bn.

Winning bidders of the auction included O2; Vodafone; Niche Spectrum, a subsidiary of BT; Hutchison 3G UK and EE, which is set to further expand its already in place 4G network.

In addition to falling short of the forecasted figures, the amount raised by the 4G auction pales in comparison to the sum generated from the 3G auction held in 2000, which raised £22bn.

Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, told the BBC that the figure was lower as "we are in very, very different times."

Richards went on to emphasise that the purpose of the auction was not to generate as many funds as possible, but simply to "ensure that a valuable economic resource was brought into productive commercial use".

In response to the results of the auction, a Treasury spokesperson said: "The £3.5bn number at Autumn Statement 2012 was certified by the independent OBR and based on external expert independent analysis based on similar auctions, including the last 3G one."

"The final auction revenue will be accounted for at Budget in the usual way."

Ofcom has previously stated that the implementation of 4G is set to provide close to £20bn of benefits to UK consumers for the next ten years.

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