Expert Comment: 4G bandwidth auctionWednesday 25 April 2012
Dr. David Reid, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Liverpool Hope University
At the end of the year there will be an auction, in which the 4G mobile phone bandwidth will be sold to the highest bidder. The different companies have different standards and technologies competing for a slice of the action. Expect to see some sparks at the end of the year as they jockey for position.
‘Everything Everywhere’, a company jointly owned by T Mobile and Orange have been doing experiments with 4G in London, as have O2.
BT have been doing their 4G trials in Cornwall and getting very good speeds. The sale at the end of this year is going to be a game changer for Britain’s mobile technology. It will mean broadband speeds will be greatly increased on mobile devices. This in turn will enable a new way to interact with the web and each with other and is particularly relevant for HE establishments such as Liverpool Hope.
The UK is behind the game at the moment. Germany and the US have more 4G than the UK. We’ve got more smartphones but we can’t use them to their full potential because we don’t have the infrastructure!
The 4G bandwidth auction is going to raise between three and four billion pounds. By contrast, the 3G auction a decade ago raised £22.5billion, equivalent to 2.3% of GNP at the time.