Everything Everywhere has appointed Morgan Stanley to sell off a quarter of its 1800MHz spectrum, the very same spectrum it intends to utilise with its push to roll out 4G LTE to the UK later this year (subject to Ofcom's approval weathering the critical storms of the other network's objections).
The move is being made not by choice, but by necessity, as the sale was stipulated by competition authorities as part of the terms of the merger of T-Mobile and Orange.
Any of the main rival operators could snap up this slab of 1800MHz spectrum, which could make something in the order of £400 million for Everything Everywhere.
Olaf Swantee, CEO at Everything Everywhere, noted that: "Whoever we sell to has to be approved by the competition authorities. The test is someone who can provide genuine competition."
Swantee added he was confident his company would get the green light when it came to deploying 4G services over 1800MHz later this year. He said: "We are confident that this spectrum will be liberalised [and] we can get 4G before the end of the year. The time period of any advantage [that EE may have] is not long."
Potentially, if Ofcom does finalise its approval for 1800MHz, then several networks - not just Everything Everywhere, but whoever buys up this quarter of the spectrum - could have a limited 4G service out in the UK before the close of 2012.
Source: FT (opens in new tab)