UK MOBILE OPERATOR Three has announced it will pay £250m to acquire UK Broadband, the company behind home broadband service Relish as well as other public sector LTE networks in Reading and Swindon.
Three said that as part of the deal it would gain UK Broadband's 15,000 customers as the unit becomes a full subsidiary of the firm.
The Relish brand is probably the most well-known element of UK Broadband's offerings, providing high-speed internet via 4G frequencies, removing the need for fixed connections to achieve coverage. The firm has often touted this as being a better deal than fixed copper connections.
It also has a diverse public sector business, though, with case studies on its website covering a wide range of customers, ranging from educational institutions to the emergency services, such as work it did to provide a bespoke network during the sailing events of the 2012 Olympics.
The deal will also help boost Three's spectrum holdings by gaining access to UK Broadband's holdings, many of which are likely to be useful for 5G services in the future.
Three CEO Dave Dyson said the deal was a good move for the firm to help it broaden its portfolio of offerings.
"UK Broadband gives us an opportunity to expand our ambition to provide high quality and great value internet connectivity for UK consumers."
The deal follows on from an attempt by Three to buy O2 for £10.5bn in 2015. However, this deal was blocked by the competition authorities in Europe, forcing Three to look for other means of growth.
It comes as the firm is also attempting to convince Ofcom of the need for spectrum caps ahead of forthcoming auctions of more high-value frequencies, as it believes BT, with its ownership of EE, and Vodafone have too much power in the mobile market. µ
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