The UK’s four mobile network operators and a subsidiary of fixed line incumbent BT have won LTE spectrum, regulator Ofcom has announced. But bidding was cautious, with the auction raising £2.34bn; £1bn less than the UK Treasury had hoped.
UK 4G spectrum licence winners BT and Vodafone have paid an additional fee to UK regulator Ofcom for preferred spectrum in the regulator’s final ‘assignment’ stage of the nation’s 4G auction. The final stage determines where each bidder’s holdings will sit in the radio spectrum.
The UK’s four mobile network operators have secured 4G spectrum, along with BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures.However, much of the discussion following regulator Ofcom’s announcement was around the revenue generated for the public purse. Just £2.34bn was raised; Chancellor George Osborne had hoped to secure £3.5bn from the auction.
Of late there seems to be an SDN (software defined networks) related announcement every few days, as vendors get their ducks in a row to pitch the next evolution of technology to carriers at MWC. But the concept demands a change in mindset for the vendors as much as it does the operators.
UK incumbent telco BT has announced that, bar its entry-level deals, broadband packages will no longer have any usage limits or traffic management applied. The move applies upwards from its £16 a month upto 16Mbps copper-based ADSL package, and to its 38Mbps and 76Mbps FTTC offerings.
UK fixed line incumbent BT is looking to take a slice of mobile operators’ revenues with an app that it has launched today. The BT SmartTalk app allows customers to make calls over a data connection from their iPhones,in a similar way to over-the-top solutions providers such as Skype and Viber, billed at the same rates that they are charged for calls from their BT landlines.
Despite the economic downturn, intense competition, and regulatory actions, revenues for the European wholesale telecoms market remained steady between 2010 and 2011, according to research firm Ovum. In the firm’s annual analysis of the size of the European wholesale market it revealed that the market was worth $48.4bn in 2011, just 0.5 per cent less than in 2010. This represents 11 per cent of the leading wholesalers’ total European revenues.
Seven firms have qualified to bid in the UK’s 4G spectrum auction, including three new entrants. Joining EE, 3UK, O2 and Vodafone are HKT – a subsidiary of PCCW; MLL Telecom; and Niche Spectrum Ventures – a subsidiary of BT.
UK telco BT has chosen Alcatel-Lucent to strengthen its customer service capabilities by using a new set of data collection and management solutions in its broadband and IPTV support departments.
UK incumbent BT is trialling what it claims is the world’s first 10Gbps broadband connection using proof-of-concept technology called XGPON (Tens of Gibabits on a Passive Optical Network).
UK incumbent BT revealed in its quarterly results Thursday, that it is again accelerating its fibre rollout, and now expects fibre to be available to two-thirds of UK premises during spring 2014, more than 18 months ahead of the original schedule.
UK telco BT smashed several connectivity records during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including record delivery levels of daily video traffic and Internet traffic on its UK retail broadband network.
The UK’s culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed his intentions to provide citizens with the fastest broadband network of any major European country by 2015, delivering speeds of more than 24 Mbps to over 90% of the country.
The UK had passed the major milestone of 2mn active subscriptions to super-fast broadband services by the beginning of June, meaning that 10% of the country’s broadband lines are now capable of delivering speeds over 25 Mbps, according to a new report from UK research firm Point Topic.
The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has conceded that it is likely to miss the government’s stated target of bringing superfast broadband services to 90% of the country’s population by 2015, with those in rural areas most likely to suffer.
Apple once again posted huge financials, with the iPhone and iPad maker hitting quarterly revenue of $35bn and quarterly net profit of $8.8bn for the quarter ended June 30, an increase on the $28.6bn revenue and $7.3bn profit that it recorded in the same period last year.
UK fixed and mobile operators are divided over whether to sign up to a voluntary code of practice in support of net neutrality. While ten service providers have signed up, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Virgin Media have so far refused.
A set-top box intended to transform how viewers consume TV has been launched in the UK, two years later than planned. YouView offers subscription-free digital TV and catch-up and will be available in major retailers by the end of July.
BT Vision, the digital TV based subscription service offered by UK incumbent BT, has purchased the rights to show Premier League football matches in the UK in a bumper deal that combined with BSkyB is worth £3.018 billion (US$ 4.68bn). The bold move, which enables BT to show 38 live games from the 2013-14 season saw it beat out competition from traditional pay-TV broadcast companies such as ESPN and is being viewed as a statement of intent from the UK telecoms company.
Normally, we would advise a telecoms operator that faces stiff competition from established pay-TV operators to take a low-cost approach to TV, targeting new types of TV customer by partnering with strong content and consumer electronics brands rather than building everything from scratch (see Bundling: The smartest dumb-pipe strategy in town).