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Ofcom announce 4G auction

The regulator will be auctioning the next generation of mobile wireless networks in 2012.

Ofcom's auction of the fourth generation bandwidth spectrum is set to greatly increase download speeds for phones, which is currently squeezed by Smartphones.

It should also raise billions for the government, with the previous auction for third-generation bandwidth in 2000 netting them £22.5bn. However, in Germany, the 2000 3G auction raised €50bn, but last year's 4G auction only got €4.3bn.

There will be a cap on the amount of airspace which can be bought by companies to ensure that fair competition is maintained. Ofcom also stated that bids are contingent on the buyer agreeing to extend coverage to 95 per cent of the UK's population, which will help cover more rural areas.

Liam McLaughlin is a freelance journalist who has also written for Prospect and the Huffington Post. He tweets irregularly @LiamMc108.