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Read this: Mobile networks hand small fortune to shareholders – but little to taxpayers - Business - The Guardian

Summary: On 27 April 2000, after seven tense weeks, the British government's largest ever auction of a national asset came to a spectacular end. In the dizzy days of the dotcom boom, five mobile phone networks had offered to pay a total of 22.5bn for the right to operate the 3G licences that would bring the internet to mobile phones. However, while the ability of networks to invest in the masts needed to broadcast 3G around the country was undoubtedly hampered, 13 years later it is the British taxpayer rather than the industry that is counting the cost. -

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