BT announces licence win in 4G spectrum auction

Telecoms giant BT has secured a spectrum licence in the 4G spectrum auction, which sold a variety of mobile internet airwaves to phone companies across the UK.

Telecoms giant BT has secured a spectrum licence in the 4G spectrum auction, which sold a variety of mobile internet airwaves to phone companies across the UK.

The licence win was part of the fourth-generation (or 4G) wireless spectrum auction process conducted by Ofcom, which allows smartphones to connect to the internet at faster speeds than the 3G network.

This auction, the largest sale of spectrum in the UK for over a decade, sold spectrum in two bands: 800MHz and 2.6GHz.

The lower-frequency 800MHz band is more expensive for telecoms companies as its longer wavelengths carries signals around 10 times further, according to The Guardian. However, the 2.6GHz spectrum is said to be used for more localised services and to enhance wireless hotspots.

BT said on Wednesday morning that it has secured a licence for 2x15MHz of FDD and 20MHz of TDD 2.6GHz spectrum, "which can be used to provide fast 4G connectivity, will enable BT to provide its business and consumer customers with an enhanced range of mobile broadband services, building on its existing strength in wi-fi."

The spectrum cost BT £186m.

According to The Guardian on Tuesday evening, BT is thought to be using the 2.6GHz spectrum for "very localised 4G services or to enhance wireless hotspots".

BT's Chief Executive Ian Livingston said: "We have said that we do not intend to build a national mobile network. Instead, this spectrum will complement our existing strategy of delivering a range of services using fixed and wireless broadband.

"We want our customers to enjoy the best possible connections wherever they are and this spectrum, together with our investment in fibre broadband, will help us achieve that."

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