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The telecommunications watchdog is to auction off unused parts of the radio spectrum for mobile broadband services, it has been announced.

Ofcom will sell off the spectrum in an online auction which is provisionally set to commence on January 16th.

The vacant spectrum bands are between 10GHz and 40GHZ, which are able to carry large volumes of data up to 12km.

These are especially suitable for companies which wish to share wireless broadband connections between buildings within short range of one another and for a number of other high-capacity broadband uses.

A statement from Ofcom said: "The online auction is part of a programme of making the most efficient use of the UK's valuable spectrum resource by releasing unused spectrum.

"This will benefit consumers by providing access to new services, greater choice and competition. It will also benefit the economy."

Use of radio spectrum contributes three per cent to the UK gross domestic product, Ofcom said.

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