UPDATE: Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, has 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.'
Three could soon be providing superfast 4G internet to its customers. The combined force of Orange and T-Mobile has announced that it will be disposing of some of its 1800MHz bandwidth to Three.
Ofcom had approved a relicensing of this bandwidth for 4G data transmission this morning (21 August), effectively giving Everything Everywhere a head start in 4G services, and angering Vodafone, which, along with O2, will not be able to provide 4G until an auction for more bandwidth takes place later this year.
If Three has access to 1800MHz spectrum, it too will be able to provide 4G services – technically from 11 September. Both Ofcom and the European Commission still need to approve this divestment of Everything Everywhere's bandwidth.
An Orange 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 2X15MHz of its 1800MHz spectrum.
'In accordance with these commitments, Everything Everywhere has today announced an agreement with Three to transfer this 2x15 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.'