O2 will join the ranks of 4G networks in the summer, after securing spectrum as a platform for the super-fast service.
The carrier’s parent company Telefonica paid £550 million for two 10MHz blocks of 800MHz spectrum at the government’s 4G auction and has declared its plans to “ensure the widest and deepest possible reach for new services” and provide indoor coverage to 98 per cent of the UK population.
Commenting on the auction outcome, O2 CEO Ronan Dunne said the network is "working on unique and exclusive range of digital experiences" to take advantage of the super-fast speeds delivered by 4G.
He added: “This is a truly landmark moment for the UK, presenting a wealth of opportunity to transform mainstream services to improve people’s lives.
“Now the investment has been made for 4G to become a nationwide reality, we want all organisations across all sectors to ensure the true value of 4G is realised, so that together we can make Britain truly digital.”
The auction also saw Vodafone pay £790 million for spectrum blocks at 800MHz and 2.6GHz, while EE, currently the only UK 4G network, paid £588 million for spectrum in both bands.
Three, meanwhile, paid £225 million for two blocks of 2.6GHz spectrum, while BT secured three 2.6GHz blocks for £186 million.
Ofcom’s total take from the auction was £2.34 billion, some way under the £3.5 billion that government watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast last year.