Ofcom: No guaranteed spectrum for Everything Everywhere

3 was unsurprisingly pleased with Ofcom's proposals. Company David Dyson, chief executive officer, said they "appear to be a pragmatic step towards bolstering the prospects of a competitive market for mobile data which would benefit all UK consumers."

The auction has caused plenty of tension amongst operators. O2 claimed the auction was illegal under EU law last year, whilst Vodafone had initially complained about Everything Everywhere being guaranteed spectrum.

The 98 per cent

Ofcom has also revealed plans to bring 4G to 98 per cent of the nation.

At the current time, the regulator prefers the idea of having one owner of 800Mhz spectrum guarantee certain levels of connectivity in rural areas. They will do so with help from 150 million of Government funding, announced by the Government in October last year.

"The 800 MHz licensee(s) subject to the coverage obligation would be obliged to provide a 4G mobile broadband service with coverage comparable to the 2G mobile voice coverage delivered by todays 2G mobile networks," Ofcom said.

"We propose that just one 800 MHz licence contains the obligation. We believe that this is a proportionate measure that balances appropriately the risk of inefficient use of the spectrum against the benefits for consumers and citizens of wider coverage. It will ensure that consumers who buy their mobile broadband service from the designated provider will be able to receive a good quality mobile broadband service throughout the UK."

The chosen provider would not be required to wholesale their 800 MHz spectrum to other providers in rural areas.

The Government today asked mobile phone industry for its views on how the Government should invest the 150 million.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey today published a document asking industry for information and views on where 'notspots' are and how to deal with them.

Most of the UK should be able to access 4G networks by the end of 2013, Ofcom said.

"This is a crucial step in preparing for the most significant spectrum release in the UK for many years. The proposals published today will influence the provision of services to consumers for the next decade and beyond," said Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards.

"The UK benefits from being one of the most competitive mobile phone markets in Europe. This means that consumers pay less for mobile communications services and have the choice to shop around for packages that suit them best."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.