The British government has announced plans to auction off space in the mobile spectrum for 4G services, laying out a structure that ensures the top four service providers will have significant stakes.
The Office of Communications said Tuesday the auction will increase the available mobile spectrum by 75 percent. This will provide more bandwidth to serve smartphones such as iPhone, Google Android and tablet computers.
The auction is expected to be held in the first quarter of next year.
To ensure that four wholesale providers _ Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere and Network Three _ remain competitive, the agency said the auction would set minimum and maximum amounts that any bidder could win.
The previous auction for 3G services in 2000 raised 22.5 billion pounds ($36.9 billion).