Everything Everywhere has today (21 August 2012) announced an agreement with Three to dispose of 2 x 15MHz of its 1800MHz to Three.
Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, said: ‘Acquiring this spectrum will more than double the capacity available to customers on our network. We have seen a huge growth in data consumption with average mobile handset customer usage now more than 1.1GB per month. Three has led the market in the significant growth of mobile data consumption and the shift to consumer use of smartphones to access the internet.
‘New spectrum, supported by further committed technology spend, is a clear signal that we are committed to maintain our lead as the network built for the mobile internet,’ added Dyson.
The disposal is in line with the European Commission’s competitive assessment of the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK in March 2010, and follows this morning’s news that Ofcom has approved Everything Everywhere’s request to liberalise its 1800MHz spectrum for 4G LTE services.
An Everything Everywhere spokesperson said: ‘As part of the commitments given when the European Commission approved the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK in March 2010, Everything Everywhere was required to divest 2 x 15MHz of its 1800 MHz spectrum.
‘In accordance with these commitments, Everything Everywhere has today announced an agreement with Three to transfer this 2 x15 MHz of its 1800MHz spectrum to Three. Ofcom and the European Commission will review whether the divestment satisfies the merger commitments, and a response is expected within the next three months.’
The merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK gave the combined entity a huge 2 x 45MHz of 1800MHz spectrum (along with 2 x 20MHz of 2.1GHz spectrum). The acquisition of the 1800MHz spectrum by Three is not surprising as the operator has by far the smallest spectrum holding among the UK’s mobile carriers with just 2 x 15MHz of 2.1GHz spectrum.
Everything Everywhere’s request to refarm 1800MHz spectrum for 4G services approved by Ofcom
Ofcom reveals final plans for auction of 4G spectrum in the UK