Ofcom gives Everything Everywhere the go-ahead for spectrum sale

21 June 2011 |


UK regulator Ofcom has authorised Everything Everywhere to sell portions of its radio spectrum to rival operators.

Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK and France Telecom’s Orange UK, is now able to sell parts of its spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands.

The need for additional spectrum is becoming increasingly important as operators need to provide higher bandwidths for smartphones with 12.8 million already in use in the UK.

The European Commission approved the formation of Everything Everywhere in March last year on the condition that both companies divest portions of their spectrum. The operators agreed to sell 2x15MHz of their joint GSM spectrum in the 1800MHz band by the end of 2011.

Everything Everywhere’s rivals, Telefónica’s O2, Vodafone and 3, are the most likely candidates to buy the newly available spectrum giving them a greater ability to meet the demand for data. Both O2 and Vodafone have existing spectrum in the 1800MHz bandwidth and there is speculation that should one of these operators successfully bid for more spectrum, it would then have enough to build a 4G network.

This announcement comes after O2 heavily criticised Ofcom’s plans for the impending 4G auction in the UK earlier this month. To read Capacity’s full coverage of this story click here.