List of companies include Vodafone, Three and Telefonica
Ofcom has published the names of the companies which have qualified to take part in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum auction.
Seven providers have put their names forward including Everything Everywhere which already runs a 4G service using the 1800 MHz wireless frequency. Telefónica UK, which owns O2 and Be Broadband, Vodafone and Three have also qualified to take part in the auctions which will begin in January next year.
The applicants can however choose to withdraw from the auction but must do so by 4 January, after which Ofcom will publish the final list of bidders.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.
"New 4G services will stimulate investment, growth and innovation in the UK and deliver significant benefits to consumers in terms of better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections."
4G will bring faster mobile broadband to the UK and could even go some way to bridging the digital divide in areas where fixed line services struggle to reach acceptable speeds.
Ofcom said that the lower frequency 800 MHz band, part of the ‘digital dividend' freed up when analogue terrestrial TV was switched off, is ideal for widespread mobile coverage.
The higher frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal offers the capacity needed to deliver faster speeds. These two bands add up to 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333 MHz in use today. Both bands are being packaged into smaller lots for the auction.
The bidders announced today are:
Everything Everywhere Limited (UK)
HKT (UK) Company Limited (a subsidiary of PCCW Limited)
Hutchison 3G UK Limited
MLL Telecom Ltd
Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of BT Group plc)
Telefónica UK Limited
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