The "substantial and strongly argued responses" to a 2011 consultation about proposals pertaining to the 4G spectrum sale in the UK have forced telecoms regulator Ofcom to delay the auctions which will sell chunks of radio spectrum for providing support to the fourth-generation mobile services in the future.
As a result of the delay, the auction process - which was initially scheduled to take place early next year - will now take place towards the end of 2012; with Ofcom announcing that it intends holding another round of consultation about how the spectrum sale process should be structured.
According to the details shared by Ofcom, the need for one more round of consultation was clearly highlighted in the arguments which convinced the regulator that any decision that is taken by it was "likely to shape the future of the mobile sector in the UK for the next decade or more."
Ofcom also said that there will apparently be no material impact of the delay in the auctions on the timeline for the availability of 4G services because it will not be before 2013 that the spectrum to support these devices will become free.
Welcoming Ofcom's decision to delay the auctions since there is still "time for reflection," Vodafone said in a statement that it was imperative "to get the rules right" so as to make sure that the roll-out of 4G services spell benefits for the consumers as well as the wider economy.