Faster broadband could be in place next year!

faster broadband

faster broadbandNew plans could mean faster broadband services in the UK by as soon as the end of next year.

The country's biggest ever 'airspace auction' for mobile providers has been announced by telecoms regulator Ofcom, which will eventually mean super-speed 4G broadband services for 98% of us throughout the UK.

Fourth Generation (4G) network services will enable use to download data such as HD films, music, books and games for the family on smartphones and tablets at much faster speeds.

Mobile companies are likely to begin using 4G networks through the auctioned airspace from mid-2013, before making 4G services available to customers later next year, according to Ofcom.

Faster speeds and money-saving apps

All of this will almost certainly amount to family savings in the long run, but there are a number of apps currently available that can help save you money on anything from petrol and phone calls to shopping and travel.

At least two spectrum speeds bands will be offered - 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The lower 800 MHz frequency is good for wide mobile coverage and the higher 2.6 GHz frequency has excellent capacity for quicker speeds.

This low and high frequency spectrum means that 4G mobile broadband can be rolled out widely throughout the UK while also having the capacity to deal with high demand in urban areas.

Will I need to switch?

Ofcom expects this 'auction' process to begin at the end of 2012, with interested bidders asked to apply to be part of it. Applications are to be assessed by Ofcom before the bidding starts in early 2013.

The new auction will offer an 80% larger spectrum than was offered in the 3G auction back in 2000, equating to three-quarters of the mobile spectrum being used at the moment.

The minimum reserve price for the entire 4G auction stands at £1.4 billion, but bidding is expected to raise the price much higher as the 3G auction raised a massive £22.5 billion from mobile providers.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "The 4G auction has been designed to deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across the UK.

"As a direct result of the measures Ofcom is introducing, consumers will be able to surf the web, stream videos and download email attachments on their mobile device from almost every home in the UK."

Ofcom has also reserved a minimum amount of spectrum for a possible fourth mobile company as well as the big three firms, Vodafone, 02 owner Telefonica, and Orange and T-Mobile company Everything Everywhere.