With the announcement from Ofcom that the relicensing of the 1800MHz bandwidth for 4G data transmission giving Everything Everywhere the jump on the competition, the latest news won’t make the rest of the players any happier either.
The combined networks of T-Mobile and Orange have now announced that they will be offloading some of their bandwidth to Three. With this access to the spectrum Three will also be able to offer 4G services to the UK mobile market; the divestment of the bandwidth is still to be approved by Ofcom and the European Commission.
With Vodafone and O2 already unhappy about the initial decision from Ofcom which effectively gave T-Mobile and Orange a head start in the 4G game, they are sure to be spitting feathers at the possibility of Three getting 4G capabilities ahead of them too.
An Orange spokesperson said “Everything Everywhere has today announced an agreement with Three to transfer this 2×15 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”
Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, released an official statement “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.”
So Vodafone and O2 are still out in the cold with their only way of getting 4G bandwidth at the auction later this year and possible services not launching until 2013, meaning T-Mobile, Orange and Three will have been providing the service months ahead of them.