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4G mobile broadband is unlikely to become a reality until 2013 at the earliest, according to a leading telecommunications expert.

Ovum Analyst Matthew Howlett explained that a statutory instrument – essential in order that spectrum actions can be established – had to be abandoned when parliament was dissolved last month.

Parliament must accept the instrument if long-term evolution technologies (4G) are to progress in the UK, and then pass this on to communications regulator Ofcom.

Mr Howlett told ZD Net that the auctioning of the essential 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands is unlikely to be a priority for the new government when it is formed.

"Our view is that it will take at least a year to get around to resurrecting this [instrument] and to debate this in parliament," he stated.

"Only after that can an action process start, so adding 12-18 months onto what was planned takes us into 2013."

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