Three is calling on the Government to legislate to ensure that the 4G spectrum auction is not delayed by legal action by rival mobile networks.
David Dyson, the new CEO of Three, said this week there was a ‘significant risk’ that the company’s rivals would try to delay the auction, which is set for next year.
Dyson believes the Government should enshrine the auction plans in legislation, so as to minimise the risk of a legal action succeeding.
He claimed Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone would be happy to see the auction timetable slip because of Ofcom’s decision to allow them to refarm 2G in January for data activities. The auction is set for next year.
Dyson told the Financial Times: ‘It is up to Ofcom and the Government to take a strong lead to make sure that any potential disruption to the auction is dealt with effectively because O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere are all incentivised differently to defer that auction for as long as possible.’
Dyson wants to double Three’s customer base, which stands at five million, over the next four years.
Everything Everywhere has nearly 28 million customers, while O2 has 21.6 million and Vodafone has 19 million. ‘We are the last into the market, with the weakest brand,’ said Dyson.
Dyson is confident Three can poach five million customers from its rivals, driven by its all-you-can-eat data tariffs, which he said are ‘absolutely fundamental’ to the company's efforts to poach subscribers.
He claimed that Three has secured a 30% market share of new iPhone contracts and now has around 500,000 iPhone customers.
Dyson dismissed speculation that Hutchinson Whampoa will sell Three. He said the merger of Orange and T-Mobile made further consolidation in the UK market difficult.
‘I don’t see an immediate transaction on the cards,’ he added.