Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei has confirmed plans to open a research and development centre in the UK, as part of the firm’s $2bn investment commitment to the nation. The news was confirmed by Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei as he met with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne at the vendor’s headquarters in Shenzhen this week.
UK operator EE has launched the country’s first pay as you go (PAYG) 4G handset. The operator said that 40 per cent of mobile users in the UK want PAYG plans and that all 4G handsets currently available to pay monthly customers will be available on PAYG.
UK carrier BT’s Global Research and Development headquarters, Adastral Park, is currently playing host to a field trial of Fibre To The Distribution Point (FTTdp) G.fast technology being run by Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei.
UK fixed line incumbent BT said Thursday it has signed an exclusive MVNO agreement with EE to provide mobile communications to its customers and 88,000 employees.
UK regulator Ofcom has announced that a group of technology firms, including Google, BT and Microsoft, are taking part in Europe’s first major pilot of white space technology. The regulator said that the UK will be among the first countries in the world to road-test the technology, which could help support the next wave of wireless innovation.
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the appointment of Philip Marnick as its group director in charge of spectrum. Marnick currently holds the position of CTO at wireless service provider UK Broadband and will move to Ofcom in November. He has 27 years experience in the wireless communications industry, having previously held senior roles at O2, BT, Orange, Softbank Mobile and Nuance.
Two of the UK’s mobile operators have added to the chorus criticising the way that broadband is being rolled out in the country’s rural areas. Vodafone and EE both issued statements calling for the government to re-evaluate the initiative and make it more inclusive of 4G wireless.
British bank Barclays has launched two features within its mobile banking app Pingit, which it launched in February last year. Using the service, retailers can offer their customers two new ways to pay via their mobile.
Canadian operator Rogers Communications has poached Vodafone UK’s CEO Guy Laurence. He will take on the role of president and CEO at the firm from December 2, 2013. In response, Vodafone UK has promoted enterprise director Jeroen Hoencamp to fill Laurence’s shoes.
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.
UK operator EE now has more one million LTE subscribers, the highest of any European operator, according to research firm Informa Telecoms and Media.
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.
British operator group Vodafone has claimed its tax policy is fully compliant with the law after it emerged the company had paid a settlement worth millions of pounds to HMRC over tax returns at an Irish subsidiary.
UK LTE pioneer EE has revealed that use of public and private wifi connections is dropping among its LTE subscription base. In a survey of its LTE customer base, EE found that 43 per cent were using “fewer or no public wifi hotspots” since moving to the technology.
Mobile operator O2, the UK arm of Spanish group Telefonica, has announced pricing details for its LTE services, which are due to be launched later this month. The operator’s prices undercut those of rival EE’s, which launched LTE services late October 2012. However, the data usage limits quoted in the price plans are lower than its rival.
Telefónica’s UK arm has been selected as the connectivity provider for the UK’s Smart Meter Implementation Programme in two of the project’s three regions. The operator will provide service in the Central and Southern regions for the programme, which will see the deployment of 53 million connected gas and electricity meters across the UK by 2020.
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is undertaking a consultation with telcos and other stakeholders over the use of the 5GHz spectrum band for wifi services. The regulator said it is looking to develop a better understanding of the role that shared spectrum access could play in the mobile broadband and M2M sectors alongside cleared spectrum bands.
Operator group Vodafone has announced that it will launch 4G services in the UK later this month. The service will be live in London as of August 29, the same date that rival O2 plans to switch its LTE network on. Twelve further cities will be connected to the network by the end of the year, the operator added.
The enterprise director of Vodafone UK, Peter Kelly, will take on the role of managing director at Virgin Media Business on September 16, 2013.