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It is crucial that the UK maximises the value of its available spectrum, Ed Vaizey has claimed.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention this week, the Communications Minister said mobile infrastructure and connectivity are key issues for the UK at present.

He noted that 4G mobile broadband has a vital role to play in increasing access to digital services -  with EE already offering super-fast mobile broadband and other operators set to follow in 2013.

"The spectrum auction, currently taking place under the watchful eye of Ofcom, will set the ball rolling for the arrival of 4G in the spring from a choice of operators," Mr Vaizey stated.

"This will maximise the value and benefit of this scarce spectrum resource."

Ofcom is auctioning off spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands, with seven UK companies competing for a share.

These include the parent companies of mobile broadband providers Vodafone, Three, Orange, O2 and T-Mobile.

However, Mr Vaizey commented that rolling out 4G "isn't enough" - as more ambitious targets are required.

He noted that spectrum has "many uses" and there is a real need for more to be freed up where possible.

"It needs to be used more flexibly; it needs to be allocated and re-allocated faster; it needs to meet the requirements of emerging technologies," the MP stated.

"In short it needs to support businesses to let them deliver for consumers."

He claimed the UK already has the world’s most ambitious programme to release public sector spectrum.

But the challenge is now to focus on mechanisms to ensure the UK has the spectrum it needs to meet the challenges ahead.

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