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Network and IT investment spanks Three's bottom line

No decision yet on challenging Ofcom's spectrum cap

UK mobile operator Three posted a drop in operating income of 15 per cent to £197m in its first-half results, due to costs associated with network and IT infrastructure investment.

In a call the company said it is preparing to ramp up investment in its network to prepare for the onset of 5G technology.

Total revenue for the first half of 2016/17 rose by 10 per cent to £1.16bn, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) down 2 per cent to £341m.

Three was recently dealt a blow by Ofcom's decision to cap the maximum amount of mobile spectrum a company can own at 37 per cent in its forthcoming auction, rather than the 30 per cent Three had called for.

Dave Dyson, chief exec of Three, reiterated the firm's response saying he was "disappointed" by the decision as it risks Ofcom's objective of having a four-player competitive market.

Dyson alluded to the fact that any challenges to Ofcom's rules would delay the auction by only three months, saying "it is pretty basic in terms of standard process to go through."

However, he stopped short of confirming whether the company has decided to mount a judicial review against the regulator.

Three also significantly boasted its spectrum holding with the £300m acquisition of loss-making firm UK Broadband earlier this year.

Dyson said the company wants to expand plans to abolish "rip-off roaming" charges. "[There will be] no roaming charges in Europe following Brexit, we will not reverse benefits for customers roaming in the EU." ®

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