LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain expects to raise some 3.5 billion pounds ($5.6 bln) from a fourth-generation mobile spectrum auction scheduled for early next year, the Treasury said on Wednesday.
The figure was outlined in finance minister George Osborne's half-yearly budget statement.
'We assume that the government will raise an extra 3.5 billion pounds from the 4G spectrum auction,' the Office for Budget Responsibility, Britain's independent budget watchdog, said in its economic and fiscal outlook.
Britain's media regulator set out the long-awaited plans for the auction in November. Prospective bidders are be able to submit their applications with an initial deposit from December 11, with bidding beginning in January and licences granted in February and March.
Regulator Ofcom has said the reserve prices for the spectrum would be a combined total of 1.3 billion pounds.
Mobile operators Vodafone and Telefonica's O2 are keen for the auction to begin after market leader EE, owned by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom , rolled out its new 4G service to great fanfare in October.
(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas and Tim Castle; editing by Kate Holton) Keywords: BRITAIN ECONOMY/SPECTRUM
(email@example.com)(+44)(0)(207 542 7947)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.