4G Or Not 4G? That Is The Question
It arrives without a bang, indeed barely a whimper, but the 4G spectrum sale could potentially revolutionise the way in which we use our mobile devices.
Promising broader coverage and faster downloads, as more and more of us consume data in bulk on the move, 4G's expansion of access to the airwaves is less desirable, more necessity.
The sums realised by the auction will raise a few eyebrows. 3G raised £22.5bn in 2000 - more like £30bn in real terms today.
Compare that with the paltry £2.34bn raised by 4G, itself more than £1bn less than the Chancellor said would flow into Treasury coffers.
As he ponders what that means for his borrowing figures, the industry considers why there simply wasn't the excitement and competition around the spectrum sale that there was over a decade ago.
True, back then we were safely ensconced in the dotcom bubble. The economy, far from spluttering and wheezing, appeared to be in good health.
But despite the advantages of faster downloads there is uncertainty over how much of a leap forward the public considers 4G to be over 3G.
Details on the numbers of customers signing up to the recent 4G pilot carried out by Everything Everywhere - trading as EE - have been pretty thin on the ground.
No surprise, really, as customers complained of difficulties obtaining SIM cards, gaining access to the network, and confusing customer services.
That will undoubtedly have an effect on the numbers who choose to sign up when the five successful bidders launch their products in a few weeks' time.
And there's another question: do consumers really want to pay for faster speeds?
The answer is by no means certain. If you use your mobile device for web browsing and emails and little else, you might just baulk at the cost of switching to 4G.
Still, last year customers on 4G networks in other countries used as much as 19 times more data than those on 3G.
Along with the benefits of greater coverage and faster downloads, Ofcom estimates £20bn in revenue from 4G over the next 10 years.