Three needs to acquire more spectrum if it is to play the role of ‘maverick’ in the UK mobile market its CEO Dave Dyson has revealed.
Speaking at the operator’s results Dyson said that the business needed more network capacity if it was to return to the position of market disruptor.
The Three boss’s comments come in a week when Ofcom suggested that prices could rise significantly should the deal go ahead. The regulator expressed the view in a report into the role of ‘the disruptor’ in the mobile market, which referenced Three repeatedly.
However, Dyson rejected the notion that the presence of such a company was the main driver for lower prices. He explained that in Three’s view the limited access to spectrum and rising data usage were the major factors in causing prices to rise.
‘There has been an increase in cost for the consumer, regardless of the merger that trend that will increase’ said Dyson ‘especially with the amount of available spectrum and the demand for data.’
‘Regarding the Ofcom report, there’s been quite a lot of commentary about multi-country analysis and the [European] Commission has rejected them from a reliable quality point of view. In particular the theory that if you have challenger in the market that is significantly cheaper than those in the market there will be a lot.
‘Three are no longer playing that role, I think it’s widely acknowledged that it is not the part we currently play. There are restrictions on us that prevent us being the maverick in the market.’
‘Assuming the merger goes ahead I’d love to play that role, given the opportunity. If we have the capacity on the network, if we have the scale we’ll be in a brilliant position to get back on the front foot. Absent of the merger the key thing for us is what happens in the spectrum auction. We hope to see more success in the next auction more than we had in the last auction where we only picked up 4%. We have some constraints at the moment that we’re trying to alleviate with a big purchase.’