Telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced it has raised £2.34bn from its auction of 4G mobile spectrum.
The amount is more than a billion pounds less than the £3.5bn the chancellor George Osborne had budgeted for.
The auction of 4G, which will offer superfast downloads, making it possible to stream high quality audio and visual content while on the move, is the biggest sale of British airwaves in over a decade.
Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, told the Today programme: “Overall, what this means is we will have new 4G networks built, we will have faster mobile broadband across the whole of the UK, and indeed the coverage and availability of broadband will be significantly enhanced compared to the present day.”
He added: “Let me make clear that maximising revenue, raising revenue, was not our objective. What we were trying to do was make sure a valuable economic resource was brought into productive commercial use.”
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Wednesday 20 February 2013.