Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) announced today that its United Kingdom division has acquired several new spectrums in a $1.2 billion auction. In the principal round of the auction run by U.K. communications regulator Ofcom, Vodafone successfully bid for:

  • 2 x 10 MHz in the 800 MHz band.
  • 2 x 20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band.
  • 1 x 25 MHz of unpaired spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band. 

The telecom company's bids will help to improve its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The licenses have an initial 20-year term.

In a statement released today, Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence said: "We've secured the low frequency mobile phone spectrum that will support the launch of our ultra-fast 4G service later this year. It will enable us to deliver services where people really want it, especially indoors. This is great news for our customers. The next generation of mobile Internet services will bring real benefits to both consumers and businesses."

Ofcom estimates that "almost the whole U.K. population" will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017, at the latest.