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Wireless broadband in the UK could be opened up if plans from regulator Ofcom are put into practice.

The watchdog is considering a mobile phone spectrum auction that would allow for further development of wireless broadband technology and could significantly open up the market, particularly in rural areas.

Ofcom is planning to take back a third of the mobile phone spectrum currently used by Vodafone and O2 and could auction it off in a similar way to the 3G auction of a few years ago.

The two networks will receive no compensation for the loss of the spectrum and will also not be allowed to bid in any auction, which could go ahead in 2009.

It is hoped that the opening up of the spectrum could help boost the development of wireless broadband technology across the UK and help to bring broadband capabilities to more households throughout the country, with those in rural areas likely to benefit the most.

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