Mobile operator One2One may be sold by C&W and US partner

Mobile operator One2One may be sold by C&W and US partner
Richard Wilson
Mobile phone operator One2One is the centre of sale speculation as reports suggest that the company’s parents are mulling possible flotation or even sale.
Cable & Wireless and US firm MediaOne are equal joint owners of One2One, which is the UK’s fourth largest mobile phone operator. Recent speculation that MediaOne would be forced to sell its share of One2One following its own takeover by US cable group Comcast seems to have been confirmed by the both parents.
Sale of One2One, which has more than 2 million UK mobile phone subscribers, could raise as much as $10bn for the parents. C&W would welcome the injection of cash to help fund investment of its international telecoms network in order to support the spiralling growth of data traffic generated by the Internet and e- commerce services.
Another factor in any possible sale could be uncertainty about the eventual outcome of Government plans to auction five new 3rd generation mobile phone licences later this year. One2One would have to bid for one of those licences to ensure its long term business prospects.
After a slow start One2One, which was launched in 1993, has been regaining ground on its larger rival UK operators, Vodafone, Cellnet and Orange. MediaOne also has an equity interest in UK cable operator Telewest Communications.

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