Telefonica considers offloading Airwave

Spanish operator Telefonica, the owner of UK-based mobileco O2, said Friday that it was considering offloading the public safety communications unit of the UK operation.

Telefonica acquired Airwave, which operates and manages communications services for the police, ambulance and fire and rescue services, when it bought up O2 in 2005. The division operates the world’s largest Tetra network serving over 200,000 emergence service users.

But as of the end of last week, the Spanish operator has appointed J P Morgan Cazenove to undertake a strategic review of all options for Airwave O2 including a total or partial disposal of the company.

The review is likely to take a number of months.

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