Each of four main networks has threatened to sue the telecoms watchdog at various times over sale of airwaves.
The telecoms watchdog Ofcom has fired the starting gun on the much-disputed spectrum auction, which will bring 4G superfast mobile phone internet to the UK next year, saying it is "fully prepared for litigation" should any of the networks decide to sue.
Debate about the largest sale of British airwaves, which analysts say could raise more than £4bn for the public purse, has dragged on for years, with each of the four networks threatening to sue the regulator at various times.
"It's a racing certainty there will be objections," said Ofcom's chief executive. Ed Richards. "We are fully prepared for litigation and we are fully prepared to defend the decisions we have taken today."
Lawyers were poring over a dozen documents on Monday running to 1,000 pages outlining the mechanisms for an auction so complicated it was likened by one network source to "playing four-dimensional chess".
While most of the UK's four networks welcomed Ofcom's final draft, published on Tuesday, the country's newest and smallest network, Three, declined to comment.
One certainty is that the sale will ensure that at least 98% of the UK population will be within indoor range of a 4G signal by 31 December 2017, opening the internet to many rural homes that currently cannot receive even basic broadband.
Source: The Guardian