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Mobile broadband providers will be permitted to trade their 4G spectrum as required to meet demands for super-fast broadband and phone services.

Ofcom has conducted an impact assessment for allowing spectrum trading in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands.

And the media regulator has concluded that the costs of doing so are "not likely to outweigh the benefits for all types of transfer".

Granting UK firms the flexibility to trade spectrum will allow them to boost network capacity, speeds, coverage and reliability where required.

Broadband providers will be able to sell off unrequired additional spectrum to rival operators, with trading to be allowed from next month.

The process will follow Ofcom's established framework for spectrum trading, which was created in 2011 to facilitate exchanges in the 900MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,100MHz bands.

Last month, Ofcom awarded 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum to the five winners of the recent 4G auction.

BT, Three, Vodafone, O2 and EE received radio spectrum licences following the completion of the final assignment stage of the auction.

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

He claimed that 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."

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