AT&T 4G logo - thumbCarriers in the United Kingdom have been itching to deliver 4G speeds to mobile customers this year, but despite their efforts to kickstart the 4G network rollout, we'll have to stick with 3G for some time yet. U.K. communications regulator Ofcom has announced that the spectrum auctions for 4G networks have been delayed yet again until "early 2013."

Many were hoping that the auctions would get underway by the end of 2012, allowing carriers to start their 4G rollout early next year. But although carriers can begin submitting their applications now, it won't be until early next year that the bidding process actually starts — which means we're unlikely to see 4G networks until at least mid-2013.

Some carriers have already been testing 4G networks in parts of the U.K., and earlier this year, Everything Everywhere submitted a proposal to Ofcom in an attempt to speed up the process.

The Next Web reports that Ofcom will hold back some of the available spectrum when bidding starts, which will allow a fourth carrier to enter the 4G auction later on. This keeps things competitive, and prevents the three largest carriers from controlling the market.

Are you disappointed that 4G networks won't hit the U.K. until 2013?

[via The Next Web]