UK start up wholesale fibre provider Hyperoptic has received an equity investment of £50m from currency speculator billionaire George Soros. The firm said the funding will enable it to meet its plans to reach more than 500,000 UK homes with its 1Gbps fibre broadband within the next five years. The investment is led by Quantum Strategic Partners, Soros’ private investment vehicle.
The UK Intelligence and Security Committee has criticised fixed line incumbent BT in a report for allowing Chinese vendor Huawei’s equipment to be embedded in the heart of the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI)and failing to consult ministers beforehand.
Vodafone has said it will increase the amount it invests in its UK network this year by 50 per cent, as it prepares to launch LTE in its home market. The operator plans to spend more than £900 million in the current financial year and expects its 4G service to go live by the late summer.
UK fixed line operator BSkyB has signed a £49m backhaul network capacity deal with wholesale provider Virgin Media Business. Under the terms of the contract, Virgin Media Business’ network will connect around a third of Sky’s unbundled local exchanges with Sky’s own wholly owned nationwide broadband network.
UK-based telecoms and broadcast infrastructure firm Arqiva has acquired location based media firm Selective Media, which provides targeted advertising campaigns over Arqiva’s wifi network.
UK incumbent BT has signed a ten year deal with mobile operator O2 to support its launch of 4G LTE services. BT will build a high capacity transmission network for the Telefónica subsidiary as O2’s roll out of 4G services later this year is expected to place even greater pressure on its network.
EE, the first UK player to market with LTE, has announced that it has reached 318,000 LTE subscribers five months after launching the service.
The UK arm of Spanish operator Telefónica O2, has introduced a tariff that allows customers to buy a new handset while tied in to a contract, without having to pay additional costs.
Philip Marnick, CTO of UK Broadband is speaking on Day Two of the inaugural TD-LTE Summit taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how TD-LTE will develop and where voice fits in.
Following its review into the causes of bill shock, UK regulator Ofcom has set out an action plan to tackle the problem. The regulator said it will work with the mobile industry on a series of measures to address the main issues identified by the review and if these do not sufficiently reduce damage caused to consumers, Ofcom warned it would consider mandatory options to tackle the problem.
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.
The UK arm of Hutchison’s 3 has announced that it will not price LTE services at a premium to its existing offers. 3UK is currently bidding for spectrum in the UK LTE auction and said in a statement on Monday that the technology will be added to its network “later this year”.
UK operator Vodafone has added its opted-in subscribers to advertising and commerce joint venture Weve, joining rivals EE and O2. With the addition of one million Vodafone subscriber details, Weve now has a database of more than 15 million UK subscribers.
Last year, with a deft move that left its competitors fuming, Everything Everywhere became the first UK operator to offer LTE services. This week, as Ofcom’s LTE spectrum auction got underway, Everything Everywhere has become—rather less auspiciously—the first UK operator to slash its LTE retail charges.
Mobile operators preparing mobile wallet offerings will face potentially stiff competition from financial institutions, after UK quango the Payments Council announced plans to launch an industry-wide mobile payment service.
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.
UK operator Vodafone has hit back at regulator Ofcom’s suggestion that UK telecoms operators should not be allowed to raise consumer tariffs mid-way through fixed term contracts. Vodafone said that mobile operators are sometimes forced to adjust their prices to reflect changes in charges set by other operators for services such as premium rate or directory enquiries.
UK regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation into methods of protecting consumers from mid-contract price increases for fixed, broadband and mobile services. The consultation comes on the heels of a review in which Ofcom studied more than 1,600 consumer complaints in a six-month period about changes in tariffs for what consumers believed were fixed-price contracts.
The presence of BT and PCCW – which owns fixed-wireless 4G operator UK Broadband – among the bidders in the UK’s upcoming 4G spectrum auction has put a new twist on the narrative for the country’s mobile market. In the run-up to the auction, which will see regulator Ofcom sell off the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies, the perceived wisdom was that challenger operator 3 UK would pick up the 800MHz block reserved for an operator that holds no sub-1GHz spectrum, and the rest would be business as usual. However, with these companies entering the fray, the picture becomes much murkier.
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.