back to article Three UK says its 5G plans are under threat if tower merger with Euro giant Cellnex is blocked

Any attempt to block Cellnex's takeover of Hutchison UK's tower network could see consumers "significantly worse off" and hamper the progress of Three UK's planned £3bn investment in 5G. What's more, the UK competition watchdog's decision to probe the deal was flawed and based on a "simplistic and misleading" assessment rather …

  1. ShadowSystems

    Methinks they do protest too much.

    The harder, louder, & longer a company (or companies) complain that the regulators are "doing it wrong" is inversely proportional to the necessity for said regulations to be enforced with an iron fist. The claims that it will *improve* competition should be a giant red flag, a fireworks display of warning flares, & a message spelled out in SuperNovi that reads "BULLSHIT!"...

    1. Outski Silver badge

      Re: Methinks they do protest too much.

      on pedant

      I think you mean the volume and strength of companies complaints about regulators "doing it wrong" is directly proportional for the necessity of said regulator to bring out the microscopes, rubber gloves & sledgehammers

      off pedant

      That said, I entirely agree with your general sentiment

      1. Outski Silver badge

        Re: Methinks they do protest too much.

        Also, SuperNovae

        And yes, I'm aware of Muphry making a mess of the syntax grammar in my first reply :o)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    could see consumers "significantly worse off"

    and children will die. Three bleating is pathetic.

  3. markberry

    Will it make much of a difference? I barely get a 3G signal most of the time!

    1. Def Silver badge

      Over time it will ensure that you never get a 3G signal.

  4. General Purpose


    >both companies insist it is "pro-competitive" because it "opens an otherwise captive internal tower network to new potential third party customers."

    This seems rather like Amazon arguing that seizing the lion's share of more and more markets is "pro-competitive" because little independent suppliers can sell through Amazon Marketplace (until Amazon undercuts them).

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "Pro-competitive"

      Much depends on the context of "competition".

      I suspect it isn't to do with the supply of sites and thus potential site owners having a slightly larger handful of candidates potentially bidding for their land/site.

      And there isn't much competition between the tower owners given how few there are and how few real networks sit atop the tower network.

      So I'm interested to know just what Ofcom perceives as 'competition'

  5. jmch Silver badge

    'Regulators don't know what they're doing'

    Ah, this old chestnut, which basically boils down to - I can't make this business profitable within market rules, so I'm going to pay someone to get the rules changed or go ahead regardless and deal with the fines later. Either of which are cheaper and easier than competing on a level playing field with anyone else.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5G is an expensive boondoggle

    "...and will provide vital funds to support 3UK's £3bn+ 5G network rollout plan."

    And there's the real reason. They've found a way to fund the incredibly expensive cost of rolling out 5G.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5G is an expensive boondoggle

      You're not far off the mark there. Its actually to try and fill the black hole created by uncontrolled spending and many half-arsed decisions that resulted in throwing half delivered solutions away and having to start from scratch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 5G is an expensive boondoggle

        I was more referring to the hugely increased number of base stations needed, as well as the increased power consumption of each one.

  7. willyslick

    From my point of view, carriers divesting their towers makes perfect sense.

    For discussion: does every carrier really need to have their own physical towers or can the increasing virtualization of the mobile infrastructure enable multiple carriers to share the physical towers while remaining securely separated from one another?? Or put another way: does each tower site need three separate infrastructures (assuming 3 main carriers), or does it make more sense for a third party to own it and share the common infrastructure among the three carriers?

    It seems to me the carriers are happy to get rid of the bother of locating and managing these real estate transactions for towers (often in the face of both reasonable and unreasonable resident's resistance) and the tower specialists have built a business model on squeezing the maximum usage from any given tower site. To me this looks like a win-win situation. Thoughts?

  8. hoola Silver badge

    Forgive me

    So Three are bellyaching because they cannot get their way to roll out 5G, a service that the average person will have no benefit from and many will actually lose out.

    There is so much hype about 5G and all the pseudo-benefits it is unreal.

    So it is faster...

    Building penetration is rubbish

    So I can stream HD movies etc

    The only thing I see here is a push from mobile networks to divest themselves of having to offer a broadband service that is reliant on FTTP/FTTC/POTS.

    I have long felt, that just like BT/Post Office have the Universal Service Provision. mobile operators need to be encumbered with the same thing. At least then there would be a possibility of actually getting mobile reception in all the areas where it is shite, you know, those rural not spots in the middle of civilisation.

    All the mobile operators have ever done is go after the high density quick wins, just like Virgin Media cable rollouts. Anything that will not mate a profit is at the bottom of a very long list.

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