Speculating how much will be made from sale of UK 4G auction is a fool's game

(PresseBox) (London, ) As speculations run wild around how much could be made from the UK 4G auctions, Matthew Howett, telecoms regulation analyst at Ovum, has the following comments:

"Trying to guess how much will be raised is something of a fool's game - how much will be paid is highly influenced by the bidding behaviour during the auction. The £2 - 4bn range that is widely touted is based on similar auctions elsewhere in Europe. There is nothing to suggest that the UK should be any different. It's possibly the most competitive market in Europe and all existing operators will want to make sure they walk away with spectrum to feed the almost insatiable appetite we in the UK now have for data. We were all taken by surprise when the government came out with the £3.5bn value. If they wanted to include any value it should probably have been the reserve price Ofcom has set of £1.3bn.

"I think it's quite unlikely that we see a new mobile operator emerge from the auction. They would have to acquire a significant amount of spectrum in the auction to be a credible nationwide operator. There was previously some spectrum reserved in the 2.6GHz band, however Ofcom dropped these proposals. There is nothing stopping a new entrant now chasing the unpaired part of the 2.6GHz band, but on its own it would not be enough spectrum to operate a nationwide network."

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