Virgin joins the race for new mobile phone licences

Virgin joins the race for new mobile phone licences
Roy Rubenstein
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is just one of 50 companies lining up as potential bidders for one of the UK’s next generation mobile phone operator licences.
TV and media companies including Reuters have also contacted Ericsson about using its new UK third generation mobile test facility. The scale of interest has surprised some observers and indicates the fierce competition that can be expected when five UMTS licenses go up for auction in the coming year.
“The main interest has come from telecoms companies in the UK, Europe and the US,” said H?kan Enquist, Ericsson’s UMTS director at the centre.
“But there is very serious interest from other business areas,” he added, citing media companies in TV, a satellite company and the likes of Reuters and Virgin. “Not all are likely to be serious but there will be heavy competition for the [UK’s UMTS] licences.”

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