Three acquires part of 1800 MHz spectrum to deploy 4G
One of the requirements behind Ofcom granting Everything Everywhere the ability to use its 1800MHz frequency band for 4G was that the group divest itself of 2 x 15MHz blocks in the spectrum they own. It seems that this has already happened, with Three reaching an agreement to buy this block.
The amount of money changing hands is unknown, and the agreement will have to reviewed by Ofcom and the European Commission. Though with Three currently being the small player in terms of spectrum the chances of approval look good.
The statement to TechRadar reveals that the purchase is doubling the capacity available to Three customers, where average data consumption is 1GB per month and growing. So the question now is how soon will Three be able to offer 4G connectivity.
One problem still remains, 1800 MHz band capable LTE phones still remain as rare as a unicorn, so in the short term 4G will be the domain of mobile broadband dongles. The iPhone 5 may include 1800 MHz connectivity, not because of the UK market, but because of the demand from large markets like South Korea. After the 4G debacle that was the latest iPad one would hope Apple will consider the mobile market outside the United States.