Everything Everywhere, the mobile operator combining the UK T-Mobile and Orange networks, has appointed Morgan Stanley to oversee the sale of part of its 1800MHz spectrum.
The sale, a regulatory condition set when the networks merged in 2010, will potentially give its competitors a chance to roll out 4G LTE wireless data in advance of Ofcom auctioning off new spectrum at 800 and 2600 MHz for these services.
EE has said that it wishes to use its remaining 1800MHz spectrum for its own LTE services, something that rivals 3, Vodafone and O2 have claimed would be unfair, although Ofcom has said that it doesn't consider such a move anti-competitive. The LTE spectrum auction is due at the end of 2012, following a postponement from the initial target of early 2012 due to considerable pressure from the operators.
Everything Everywhere issued the following statement: "Following a competitive process, Morgan Stanley has been appointed to provide independent professional advice on the sale of some of the company's 1800MHz spectrum. One of the conditions of the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK was that Everything Everywhere divest a quarter of its 1800MHz spectrum before the next spectrum auctions. The intention is to complete the sale of the spectrum in advance of the Combined Spectrum Award, currently scheduled to take place in Q4 2012."