The UK’s telecommunications regulator Ofcom has revealed that it will auction licenses to offer so-called 4G mobile networking services next year.
The International Telecommunication Union describes 4G as a family of networking standards that allow data transfer speeds of up to one Gigabyte per second.
In order to support these services, Ofcom is auctioning licenses covering two bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz.
"Both [bands] lie within the ‘sweetspot’ and are internationally harmonised for next generation mobile broadband use," Ofcom said in a statment. "The combination of low and high frequency spectrum creates the potential for mobile companies to roll out the fourth generation (4G) of mobile services across the UK with good capacity as well as good coverage."
"This spectrum is essential to meet the UK’s rapid increase in mobile traffic," it said, "fuelled by the growth of smartphones and mobile broadband data services such as video streaming, email, messenger services, mapping services and social networking sites."
Ofcom added that it expects carriers to offer 4G services to the public a few years after 2012’s auction.