BSkyB isn't going for Everything Everywhere's 1800 MHz spectrum

The possibility of an intriguing tie-up between BSkyB and Everything Everywhere was reported then dashed.

An article in the Sunday Times said British broadcaster and competitive broadband service provider BSkyB was eyeing a bid for 1800 MHz spectrum that will be divested by Everything Everywhere, the joint venture of cellcos Orange UK and T-Mobile UK.

This made for a fascinating prospect because if BSkyB were to take on the spectrum, it would be able to add not just mobile voice but also LTE service to its product portfolio. The company already offers fixed line broadband, fixed voice and satellite pay-TV. It also owns The Cloud, which operates 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the United Kingdom, which could have posed intriguing cellular offloading possibilities if the Sunday Times report were true.

However, BSkyB on Monday denied the report, according to a Total Telecom article. The article also cited a source with knowledge of the matter, who said BSkyB and Everything Everywhere conducted talks a few months ago regarding the 1800 MHz spectrum but have had no commercial discussions since.

Orange and T-Mobile were required to relinquish one quarter of their 1800 MHz spectrum in order to gain regulatory approval for the Everything Everywhere JV. The spectrum is expected to sell for $4.69 billion to $6.26 billion and must be divested prior to the United Kingdom's LTE frequency auction late this year.

Everything Everywhere is lobbying UK telecoms regulator Ofcom for permission to refarm its remaining 1800 MHz spectrum for LTE use. The operator has said it is ready to launch LTE this year, but the company is frustrated that rivals Vodafone and O2 are focused on improving their 3G networks rather than helping build the LTE ecosystem.

For more:
- see this Total Telecom article
- see this Global Telecoms Business article
- see this Telegeography article

Related articles:
The Cloud grows Wi-Fi network with 2,400 UK venues
Everything Everywhere slams rivals for not helping build LTE ecosystem
Rumour Mill: Everything Everywhere, T-Mobile UK brands to be abandoned
Everything Everywhere gets approval to refarm 2G spectrum for LTE
Everything Everywhere pressures UK regulator for early LTE deployment