Inside the 4G Spectrum Auction

23 April 2013
Robert Leese
<p>The recently completed auction for 4G mobile spectrum was the most importantcombinatorial auction ever held in the UK. &nbsp;In general, combinatorial auctions allow bidders to place individual bids on packages of items,instead of separate bids on individual items, and this feature has theoretical advantages for bidders and sellers alike. &nbsp;The accompanying challenges of implementation have been the subject of intense work over the last few years, with the result that the advantages of combinatorial auctions can now be realised in practice on a large scale. &nbsp;Nowhere has this work been more prominent than in auctions for radio spectrum. &nbsp;The UK's 4G auction is the most recent of these and the publication by Ofcom (the UK's telecommunications regulator) of the auction's full bidding activity creates a valuable case study of combinatorial auctions in action.</p>
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar