UK mobile operator One 2 One could be sold off in a move likely to spark a major international bidding war.
Cable & Wireless and Mediaone confirmed today that they are, "jointly exploring strategic alternatives regarding their ownership of One 2 One." The companies said their considerations include the sale of all or part of the company.
A price tag of around #11 billion has been touted for One 2 One. If the operator is sold, bids are expected from major telecomms companies in both Europe and the US.
The sale of One 2 One would present a rare opportunity for a company to enter the fast growing UK mobile market. One 2 One holds one of just four mobile licences in the UK.
One 2 One is also well positioned to pick up one of four or five licenses for advanced third generation mobile services in the UK, being auctioned before next summer. Third generation will enable broadband mobile services such as Internet and videoconferencing.
One 2 One, a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Cable & Wireless and Mediaone, is the smallest of the UK's mobile operators with around two million subscribers.
Mediaone's decision to reconsider its ownership of the One 2 One stake follows its acquisition on Monday by US cable operator Comcast (see earlier story).
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