Three said Ofcom’s decision to put caps on spectrum in the 2012 auction will redress ‘the huge competitive advantage’ the recent reallocation of 2G spectrum gave its competitors.
However Ofcom still needs to address key issues including coverage, capacity and financial benefits, the operator added.
The caps, announced today as part of Ofcom’s proposals for the 2012 spectrum auction, mark a victory for Three which fought to have spectrum caps imposed.
The operator had warned that Three’s competitive position would be seriously compromised
without limits on how much spectrum operators could bid for.
Kevin Russell, chief executive officer, Three UK, said: ‘The January 2011 re-allocation of 2G spectrum has given a huge competitive advantage to Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere.'
However he warned: 'Ofcom's proposals seek to rebalance this in the medium term but there are still immediate distortions that need to be addressed. These include significant coverage, capacity and financial benefits.’
Russell welcomed Ofcom’s assertion that the UK market needed four competitors. He said: ‘Ofcom's proposals set out the core principle that the UK must retain four wholesale mobile operators.
'Against a background of consolidation in the UK and US this is a clear and strong commitment from Ofcom and the UK Government that will stimulate investment in mobile broadband and protect UK consumers.’