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Everything Everywhere appoints Morgan Stanley to sell spectrum

Tuesday, April 10th 2012
Everything Everywhere is set to sell off spectrum that could be used for 4G services.
Everything Everywhere appoints Morgan Stanley to sell spectrum
Morgan Stanley has been appointed by Everything Everywhere to sell off spectrum that could be utilised to deliver 4G mobile broadband services.

The global financial services firm will market about 25 per cent of the network operator's 1,800MHz spectrum this month under terms set by competition authorities in allowing the merger between Orange and T-Mobile, which are controlled by Everything Everywhere.

According to the Financial Times, the airwaves - which are valued at up to £400 million - are most likely to be purchased by rival carriers 3 Mobile, O2 and Vodafone, although other large technology groups may also express an interest.

To be eligible to acquire the spectrum, the buyer must have the ability to establish a network.

Olaf Swantee, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, explained that this move was designed to boost competition in the market by finding a bidder capable of offering a rival service.

"Whoever we sell to has to be approved by the competition authorities. The test is someone who can provide genuine competition," he said.

Everything Everywhere has been granted provisional permission to utilise its 1,800MHz frequency to deploy 4G mobile broadband services.

However, the other network operators are opposed to this move, as it would allow the company to roll out 4G ahead of next year's spectrum auction, potentially giving it an unfair head start.

If this plan goes ahead, the buyer of the 1,800MHz spectrum will also be able to deliver a 4G offering before the end of 2012.

Ofcom has given its backing to the move, insisting that it will not distort competition in the market and will bring benefits to consumers.

"We are confident that this spectrum will be liberalised [and] we can get 4G before the end of the year," Mr Swantee stated.

"The time period of any advantage [that Everything Everywhere may have] is not long."

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