Whoa! 4G’s pricey!


The UK’s 4G spectrum auction has raised £2.34 billion ($3.62 billion), with BT(s bt) and the country’s four main mobile carriers winning new spectrum that will allow them to roll out LTE services.

The auction took in 250MHz of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, which is high-bandwidth and good for urban deployments, and the 800MHz band, which is lower-bandwidth but longer-distance and better for rural deployments. EE (which already runs 4G on reused 2G spectrum) and Vodafone(s vod) both won spectrum in both bands, while Three and O2 (Telefonica)(s tef) each won spectrum in the 800MHz band. Niche Spectrum Ventures (a BT subsidiary) won 2.6GHz spectrum.

The reserve price for the auction was £1.3 billion, although the government had budgeted for it to bring in £3.5 billion. Does that make the result disappointing? That depends on whether you see the government forecast as politically motivated or focused on the…

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