Three UK asks Ofcom for more mobile spectrum

Monday, June 6th 2016

UK's mobile network operator Three is in need of more radio spectrum and Ofcom may have to provide it. Three UK hoped to solve the problem by acquiring O2, but that move was blocked by EU's competition body.

Three UK has the least amount of spectrum bandwidth at present, compared to other operators. When BT acquired EE, they gained spectrum bandwidth, without giving up any slot to rivals. Although Three UK is an alternative low cost operator, it has a role in competition and needs more spectrum to deliver its services.

On the othe hand, Ofcom is all set to auction a portion of UK's bandwidth, namely the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands and Three UK has an eye on them as these are ideal bandwidth slots for wireless or mobile broadband, or for 4G. This is what Three provides now to its customers. This slice being freed was used by the Ministry of Defence for its own communication.

Three UK's bid to gobble up O2 was blocked by EU with Ofcom backing it. Now, Three has to struggle to compete with the merged EE, a giant rival. EE currently holds the bigger slice of the spectrum than any other UK operator. So, Ofcom has to consider Three UK's genuine need before the auction process begins.

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