Former UK telco monopoly BT has announced it has chosen the UK’s biggest mobile operator – EE – for exclusive acquisition talks, having previously conceded it was looking at O2 or EE. If the deal goes through BT would occupy a dominant position in the UK telco market as it already owns substantial fixed-line assets as well as a significant chuck of exclusive content and some 4G spectrum of its own.
The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced it has reached what it calls a “landmark” agreement with operators EE, O2, Vodafone and Three on how to tackle coverage issues in rural Britain. However, the agreement seems a far-cry from the original tough talk from the Culture Secretary Savid Javid.
Following reports last week, UK regulator Ofcom has confirmed the appointment of Sharon White as its new Chief Executive. Joining from the HM Treasury, where she is Second Permanent Secretary, White will officially take the reins in March next year.
Ofcom has published a report on customer satisfaction levels in mobile, broadband, pay TV and landline services. Compared to previous years, the report showed steady level of satisfaction in mobile with O2 topping the table in the mobile service provider stakes. Meanwhile RootMetrics put EE on top in London.
The Chief Executive of Orange, Stephane Richard, has dropped a hint about the ongoing discussions with BT over a possible acquisition of EE, allegedly stating that he’s expecting a decision from the British telco in the next few weeks.
EE has announced it is to launch a micro network to connect some of UK’s rural communities that currently don’t have a reliable mobile or high speed broadband connection. The telco said it has successfully trialled the connected antenna technology in a Cumbrian village, and will connect 1,500 communities by the end of 2017.
Vodafone Greece has moved closer to becoming a multiplay service provider by acquiring 72.7% of Hellas Online (HOL), the country’s second largest broadband and fixed-line services provider. The mobile operator acquired Hellas Online for a total cash sum of €72.7m (£57.56m).
Following the news earlier this week about BT’s preliminary acquisition talks with EE and O2, it has been reported Hutchison Whampoa is preparing to make an offer of its own for one of the mobile operators.
Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the joint shareholders of EE, have confirmed initial discussions with BT over a possible sale of the UK mobile operator. In a statement the German and French giants said they are exploring the possibility as part of their regular market assessment to evaluate different strategic options.
Network testing and consultancy firm P3 has published a UK mobile benchmarking report ranking EE, aided by its strong data service, first. Three came second, although it won in the voice category. O2 was marginally ahead of last-placed Vodafone.
UK telco giant BT has confirmed it is in discussions to acquire O2, following reports that the CEO of Telefónica has indicated he is open to some kind of strategic alliance with BT in the UK, which could include selling off O2 UK in return for a stake in BT.
EE, the UK joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange, has announced the launch of its connected car solution based on 4G technology. Buzzard 2 is a device which EE claims will bring high-speed connectivity to enable in-car entertainment and navigation, without having an in-built solution. The Buzzard 2 plugs directly into the car’s 12 volt [...]
Vodafone has announced three initiatives encouraging more data consumption by UK and Australian users. The telco is announcing free subscriptions to BSkyB’s movie streaming service NOW TV for users in the UK, and free Spotify Premium accounts for Australian customers.
EE has launched LTE-Advanced, which it is branding ’4G+’, at some 150 sites across London, declaring the UK has “gone from a laggard back to being a leader.” As reported previously by Telecoms.com, the new faster speeds are facilitated by carrier aggregation (CA) over the combination of 20MHz of 1800MHz and 20MHzof 2.6GHz spectrum.
EE has posted a year-on-year drop in revenue for the third quarter of 2014 but said it reached a new record in 4G subscribers during the period. At £1.52 billion, operating revenue was down by 1.2% compared to Q3 2013. The operator did not disclose quarterly profit or loss figures.
Following Vodafone’s carrier aggregation announcement , an EE spokesperson confirmed to Telecoms.com it is also switching on its LTE-A (Cat 6) offering, which should be available in central London by the end of this month.
EE, Vodafone and Three have responded to the story recently published by the Guardian, and followed up by many other media, about the automated sharing of customer call records with law enforcement officers. They insist the practices have been in place for some time to comply with existing law.
EE has once more piled competitive pressure on rival UK operators with the launch of EE TV, becoming the first UK mobile network owner to offer quad-play. The EE TV box allows subscribers to stream Freeview and on-demand content over wifi and across four devices simultaneously.
It has been reported that BT has run into technical difficulties that are delaying its planned return to the consumer mobile market. As reported by the Telegraph, the telco has encountered problems in the technology designed to direct voice and data traffic over wifi rather than 4G.
The three remaining major partners of Phones 4u prior to its move into administration have all moved to acquire some former Phones 4u stores and take on some of its employees.