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Vodafone UK edges closer to launching ultra-fast 4G mobile

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has edged a step closer to launching an ultra-fast mobile phone after it acquired a range of low frequency mobile phone spectrum.

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has edged a step closer to launching an ultra-fast mobile phone after it acquired a range of low frequency mobile phone spectrum.

Mobile phone spectrum is a technical term referring to the part of electromagnetic spectrum which corresponds to radio frequencies.

Mobile network operators need to own or control access to sections of spectrum, known as 'bands', in order to guarantee a consistent service to their customers.

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Vodafone's announcement on Wednesday disclosed that it had secured a range of spectrum licences for a 4G network in the UK for a total of £790m.

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.

The auction represents the largest sale of spectrum in the UK for over a decade and saw spectrum sold 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.

Vodafone UK said on Wednesday morning that in the principal round of the auction, it acquired spectrum of 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band and 2x20MHz in the 2.6GHz band, plus an additional 25MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 2.6GHz band.

"We've secured the low frequency mobile phone spectrum that will support the launch of our ultra-fast 4G service later this year," said Vodafone's Chief Executive Guy Laurence.

"It will enable us to deliver services where people really want it, especially indoors. This is great news for our customers. The next generation of mobile internet services will bring real benefits to both consumers and businesses."

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