Android Central

The latest chapter in the UK's LTE saga is an intriguing one, concerning the spectrum 'sale' from EE to rival carrier Three. Before the recent spectrum auctions even began, EE was instructed to sell off a chunk of its existing 1800MHz spectrum -- used for their 4G LTE service -- by regulators. Three picked this up, but a recent report suggests it may have been the ultimate bargain. 

According to a report in The Guardian, Three paid a grand total of £0 for the chunk of spectrum. Thats right. Nothing, nil, nada. Considering the estimated value lay in the region of £450million, this all seems very, very strange. After all, the other carriers need additional spectrum to launch their own LTE services, so why would EE just give it away?

EE reportedly decided the safest bet for them was to forego offers from Vodafone and O2, and give it away to the UK's smallest network. Despite having probably the best contract deals in the UK, Three's customer base is around 10million, compared to EE's 27million. 

The deal was also supposedly designed to help tip the spectrum auction in EE's favor, leaving them more chance of picking up a good portion of the valuable 800MHz spectrum. As it turned out, both EE and Three emerged with a small piece of 800MHz, and if all this is indeed true, Three has kickstarted its LTE network without spending a whole lot of money. 

Source: The Guardian


Reader comments

Reports suggest Three paid EE absolutely nothing for 1800MHz LTE spectrum


Nice that Three got something. Three were the best network Australia had ever seen, but vodafone bought it and raped it to death. rest in peace Three Au.

Bull shit my ass hurts from these type of deals,it pertains to all products across the board,..., I will leave it at that, stay thirsty my friends

So Three paid nothing for this bit of the spectrum, and they're charging customers a whopping £0 extra for it (they already have the best 3G prices, too).

Three & EE are very, very good friends. They share 3G networks already through MBNL which both Three and EE own so it makes sense that EE would give Three some of the 4G spectrum for nothing.


They are not really "friends". (because Three lets you use the internet on your phone). Three is just the smallest of the major operators.

Three are not the cheapest network, I find many deals from other networks that are far superior to three's. Three also makes it impossible to cancel your contract even having gave 30 days notice they did not cancel my contract when the 24 months were up, so I canceled my direct debit and what do you know they still send me letters telling me to pay them when I'm not using their sim anymore. This is just a warning for people waning to sign up with this horrible network.