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The government should change its plans over the upcoming 4G spectrum auction, a leading engineering and technology organisation has claimed.

Communications experts from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) believe that high levels of regulation are a serious barrier to growth, and could prove a constraint on mobile network development.

They believe the Con-Lib coalition should define a national ambition for UK mobile infrastructure to support UK competitiveness, investment and innovation.

"Growing demand for broadband is stretching the capability of existing networks," said Professor Will Stewart from the IET.

"Wholesale network competition must perform better or we will fall further and further behind consumer expectations."

He claimed that the government must consider both mobile and wireline communications "more fully in the context of its national infrastructure", in the same way that it does with energy, transport and water.

Ofcom is set to auction off 4G radio spectrum to mobile network operators in the next year, paving the way for the development of super-fast mobile broadband services.

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