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Ofcom has announced the winning bidders in the 4G spectrum auction - with five broadband providers claiming a share of the spoils.

BT, Vodafone, Three, O2 and EE have secured spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands after more than 50 rounds of bidding.

The initial stage of the auction has raked in £2.34 billion for the Treasury, with the final assignment stage still to come.

Vodafone spent £790.8 million on 4G mobile spectrum, while EE invested £588.9 million, O2 £550 million, Three £225 million and BT £186.5 million.

O2 won the coverage obligation lot for the 800MHz band, meaning it will be required to offer 98 per cent indoor 4G coverage across the UK by the end of 2017.

Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive, said the auction had seen "a positive outcome" for competition in the UK.

He said businesses and consumers will soon benefit from faster and more widespread mobile broadband.

"We are confident that the UK will be among the most competitive markets in the world for 4G services," Mr Richards stated.

“4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98 per cent of the UK population indoors - and even more when outdoors - which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband."

He said consumers need to be well informed about 4G services, and as such, Ofcom will be conducting research in late 2013 to discover who is deploying services, in which areas and at what speeds.

"This will help consumers and businesses to choose their most suitable provider," Mr Richards claimed.

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