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Three and Vodafone are set to boost their 4G coverage and speeds in the UK, after acquiring Qualcomm's L-Band spectrum.

The mobile broadband providers will use L-band to help boost download speed capacity for customers, following negotiations that began when Qualcomm announced its decision to sell off the spectrum in June.

Of the 40MHz of spectrum available, Vodafone and Three will take exactly 20MHz each, in their respective efforts to boost the quality of service experienced by customers.

Reports suggest that the providers paid Qualcomm around £200 million each for their share of the spectrum, which is intended to meet the increasing demand being placed on networks by data-hungry customers.

Three was reluctant to comment on the deal until it had been ratified by Ofcom, but Vodafone was more forthcoming, saying L-Band will complement its existing low frequency 800MHz spectrum, which has the benefit of travelling further and penetrating walls with greater ease.

Vodafone added: "Over time, we intend to combine the spectrum with 800MHz using a new technology called 4G+, also referred to as Carrier Aggregation, to deliver theoretical peak download speeds up to three times faster than standard 4G."

Although the deal only now requires Ofcom approval, the process of upgrading equipment and devices to be compatible with the new spectrum makes usage unlikely until late 2016.

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