Freedom4′s WiMAX Licence Sold For £12.5m
The WiMAX licence held by Freedom4 was sold last week in a deal that leaves PCCW with all the UK’s WiMAX licences
Freedom4 used to be known as Pipex Wireless, and was created back in 2006 by the ISP Pipex Communications and Intel Capital in order to develop and roll out WiMAX-based networks in the UK. However, the Pipex ISP business was sold off to Tiscali in 2007 and, for the next two years, Freedom4 went it alone as the principle driver of WiMAX in the UK.
Then in July last year, Freedom4 acquired ISP Daisy Communications and the whole entity was subsequently renamed Daisy Group. However, the Freedom4 name was retained for the group’s wireless broadband operations.
PCCW Completes WiMAX Picture
Now UK Broadband, a subsidiary of PCCW (owned by Hong Kong Telecom) has purchased the WiMAX spectrum licenses in Great Britain held by Freedom4. It is also understood that Daisy has divested its loss-making Wi-Fi business to its management team.
“Daisy Group plc, a leading provider of unified communications to the SME and mid-market, announces that it has disposed of its WiMAX spectrum licences to UK Broadband Limited, part of the PCCW Group, for a cash consideration of £12.5 million,” Daisy stated.
Daisy announced the “disposal of the non-core businesses,” after Freedom4 Limited made a loss of £2.4 million in the nine month period to 30 September 2009.
“Daisy reversed into Freedom4 and took the decision that it was not core to their operations,” said Graham Currier (left), Chief Operating Officer at Freedom4, speaking to eWEEK Europe. “On that basis, Freedom4 is still owned by the Daisy Group, but this is under review and no decisions have yet been taken.”
Currier said that, while he could not speak for UK Broadband, he felt the sale of the WiMAX licences was good for the market as it consolidates a lot of spectrum in one place and creates a strong player.
“UK Broadband not only has access spectrum, but it also now has access to the backhaul,” said Currier. “This is good for the market and the transaction has been done, but there is a lot still to be decided. It is work in progress and over the coming months we will sort everything out.”