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.
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.
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.
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.
Telefónica’s UK subsidiary O2 has announced its intention to deploy a full fibre core network throughout the country, touching on 19 connectivity points from Glasgow, Scotland to Salisbury in the South West.
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.
O2 has launched iTunes Codes, which allows customers to purchase iTunes credit automatically charged to their monthly phone bill, or taken out of pre-paid credit. The codes are usable for purchases across the iTunes, App and Mac App Stores, as well as for iBooks.
UK communications regulator Ofcom has released research showing that while overall levels of consumer satisfaction with mobile networks are high, an estimated 45 per cent of users experience some problems. Moreover, around 30 per cent of users experience no reception at least once a week.
Czech mobile operators O2 and T-Mobile have agreed to share their LTE networks in a bid to accelerate coverage improvements in the market this year. The deal follows a similar agreement signed between the two operators relating to their 2G and 3G networks in November last year.
The UK is heading will face a serious spectrum shortage by the end of the decade if 300MHz of cellular spectrum and 350MHz of wifi spectrum are not made available. The warning came this week from Real Wireless, a consultancy that worked with UK regulator Ofcom on this year’s LTE spectrum auctions.
Spain’s Telefónica has confirmed that it is to exit the Czech and Slovak Republics through the sale of its holdings in the markets to Czech investment group PPF. Telefónica said in October that it was exploring its options in the Czech Republic, as part of a wider process of withdrawal from non-core markets.
Spain’s Telefónica has confirmed that it is in discussions with Czech investment group PPF surrounding the sale of its Czech operation O2. In a stock market announcement following speculation in the financial press, Telefónica said that it is “exploring strategic options in relation to its stake in Telefónica Czech Republic, including conversations with investor group PPF, with nothing certain whether an agreement will be reached, or final terms and conditions.”
Apple has yet to grant O2 UK approval to offer its new 5s and 5c iPhone models on the operator’s newly launched LTE network. While O2 has denied failing any of Apple’s network approval tests, a spokesman confirmed that the tests have not yet been passed.
Keith Mumford, Vice President of Technology at Kineto, explains that although O2 and Vodafone have launched their 800 MHz LTE services, neither is choosing to focus on coverage – which is often one of the traditional battlegrounds that operators favour when it comes to marketing roll outs. Coverage though, particularly for LTE at 800MHz, may still arise as a contentious issue.
With Vodafone and Telefónica-owned O2 launching their LTE services today, long awaited competition in the UK LTE market can now begin. Meanwhile the UK’s two other operators, 3UK and EE, piped up to remind the market of their own plans and achievements.
Telefónica on Wednesday unveiled more details about the smart metering contract won from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Control last week. According to the information, the smart meter network will see one of the first IPv6 implementations in an M2M environment, as well as the roll out of a mesh network software client that runs on top of any available data network including wifi, 3G and fixed broadband.
In an example of how operators are leveraging OTT partnerships, Telefónica this week struck a deal with Evernote to make the information management application available to its global user base.