EE rejects Three allegations following £167m mast lawsuit


The lawsuit follows allegations from three that EE has not met its mast sharing agreements

EE has rejected allegations from Three that it has failed to meet its mast sharing agreements, which has cost it £167 million in lost revenue.

Three filed legal papers last week (May 23) claiming EE had failed to meet obligations over access to its 3G infrastructure agreed upon when Orange merged with T-Mobile in 2010.

Three first partnered with T-Mobile back in 2007, as part of a 50/50 joint venture to consolidate masts, reducing operational costs. This saw the creation of a new company, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL).

Following the formation of EE in 2010, (as Everything Everywhere), it was agreed Three would have access to 3,300 of EE’s 3G masts. In its legal filing, Three claims it has only been able to use 1,301 of these sites costing it £127.9 million.

Three has also calculated future losses of £39 million, bringing the total to around £167 million.

Surprise move

An EE spokesperson said the operator would fight to clear its name of any wrongdoing. “We are surprised that Three has taken the step of issuing proceedings, as we are in active discussions with them. We strongly reject the allegations, and we will contest them vigorously.”

Vodafone and O2 hold a similar mast share agreement, signed in 2012. Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao claims this was a key reason behind Three’s failed big to acquire O2 UK.