The UK is apparently preparing the largest spectrum auction ever this will include bands spreading across 250MHz of spectrum, no longer used by television broadcasters. Ofcom, the wireless regulation authority, seems to currently be working to finalize a strategy which will guarantee the spectrum is distributed among a minimum of four competing networks.
In order to encourage competition in the wireless marketplace, the agency has considered as well to allow some of the smaller players to merge their bids against offers from larger companies.
According to a recent report in The Register, Three UK, the local carrier, has supposedly voiced worries that it may be forced out of the market if it doesn’t obtain an adequate share of the new spectrum, because it already lacks any spectrum in sub-1Ghz bands. In order to ease such issues and preserve a minimum of four main competitors in the market, Ofcom is planning to limit the spectrum ownership by any single company.
Ofcom will most likely hold the auction sometime in early 2012 (probably before the first half of the year), but it is still unclear if the agency will meet the initial objectives.