UK regulator target of 4G probe

Michael Carroll
17 Apr 2013
00:00

The UK’s sale of 4G spectrum is set to be probed, following a complaint by a politician regarding the low sum raised by the auction.

An investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO), the body that scrutinizes public spending for Parliament, will aim to establish if Ofcom delivered value for money in the auction, which netted £1.2 billion ($1.84 billion) less than expected.

The NAO is preparing the investigation following a complaint by an opposition MP into a comment by Ofcom chief Ed Richards that the auction wasn’t necessarily about making money, the BBC reports.

Analysts have largely praised the sale, noting that the lower than expected cost of licenses would free up cash for operators to actually deploy 4G networks. At the time Bengt Nordström, chief executive and co-founder of analyst firm Northstream, noted the rollout of mobile broadband networks will boost the UK’s GDP, so making up for the shortfall in auction income.

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