Mobile Phones

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th June 2012.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Party Chair, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the likely date for commencement of the roll-out of 4G; and what steps his Department is taking to facilitate this process.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The auctioning of 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum is a matter for Ofcom, the Independent regulator. Ofcom remains on schedule for the UK auction process to start by the end of 2012. This is compatible with the spectrum becoming available to allow successful bidders to start rolling out 4G services in these bands in 2013.

Additionally, Ofcom recently undertook a consultation on liberalising the licensing requirements for the 1800 MHz band to allow deployment of 4G services in that band. Ofcom's proposals stemmed from a request from Everything Everywhere to authorise the use of LTE technology under their licences for 1800 MHz spectrum. This consultation closed on 8 May 2012 and the responses raised a number of detailed issues that Ofcom must now consider. Ofcom intends to publish a statement on the proposed variation as early as possible.

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