Telecoms regulator Ofcom has raised £2.34bn from its auction of 4G mobile spectrum, less than originally expected.
4G mobile broadband should provide smartphone and tablet computer users with superfast download speeds. The auction raised far less than the £22bn from the 3G auction in 2000 and fell short of the £3.5 billion expected by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
All of the major players in the industry purchased spectrum in the auction.
Vodafone purchased two 10MHz lots of the 800MHz spectrum, two 20MHz lots of the 2.6GHz spectrum, and one 25MHz share of the unpaired 2.6GHz band for a total of £790m.
Niche Spectrum Ventures, a subsidiary of BT Group, also bought a 25MHz share of the unpaired band, for £186m.
Everything Everywhere, parent company of the UK's first 4G network EE, paid almost £590m for two 5MHz lots of the 800MHz spectrum and two 35MHz lots of the 2.6GHz spectrum, this will be used along with the network's existing 1800MHz spectrum, which has been providing 4G since October last year.
O2 parent company Telefonica purchased two 10MHz lots of the 800MHz spectrum, which was designated as the coverage obligation lot, for £550m.
Finally, Hutchison 3G UK, which operates the Three network, secured a winning bid of £225m for two 5MHz lots of the 800MHz spectrum.
OFCOM says that "4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband."
Presented by Adam Justice