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EE and Three have expressed optimism about the future of 5G in the UK, following Ofcom's recent spectrum auction.

The two companies, together with O2 and Vodafone, collectively bid almost £1.4 billion in the principal stage of the watchdog's auction.

EE won 40 MHz of the 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000, which the company believes positions it well for the launch of future 5G services.

Marc Allera, Chief Executive of BT’s Consumer Division, said it will also consolidate its position as one of "the world’s leading providers of communications services".

"With this outcome, we’ll continue to roll out the fastest 4G service to consumers and businesses across the UK, and now look ahead to the potential new services that 5G will offer, keeping our nation at the forefront of digital communications," he commented.

The auction also saw Three's parent company Hutchison 3G UK Limited win 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Following the announcement, Three described 5G technology as "exciting" both for consumers and mobile operators.

"We are now in the process of planning how best to launch 5G services to the maximum benefit of our customers," the company said in a statement.

Ofcom will now progress to the final bidding stage of the auction, which it says is a short process that will allow companies who won spectrum in the first stage to bid to determine the frequency bands in which their new spectrum will be located.

Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom, said: "This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet."

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