UK

Vodafone pays no UK tax again

UK operator group Vodafone has not paid any corporate tax in the UK for the second year in a row, the firm revealed in its annual report. This is despite generating revenues of more than £5bn in its home market. The group paid over £2.5bn in corporate tax in other countries and £882m in other UK taxes and contributions.

Vodafone to ramp up UK investment

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 wholesale fibre start up gets £50m injection

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.

Virgin Media sells backhaul to Sky in £49m deal

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.

Arqiva extends wifi advertising presence

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.

BT to help build O2’s 4G network as it searches for operator partner

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 reaches 318,000 LTE subscribers

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.

O2 separates handset cost from 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.

Ofcom considers bill shock legislation

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 4G auction: What the industry is saying

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.

3UK to offer LTE without price premium

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”.

Vodafone adds subscribers to Weve

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.

UK banks payment service threatens mobile wallets

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.

BT launches VoIP smartphone app

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.

Vodafone hits back at Ofcom’s price control proposal

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.

Ofcom moves to block mid-contract price hikes in UK

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.

UK sees surprise 4G bidders

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.

MoD to auction off spectrum for LTE

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it will auction off around 200MHz of the radio spectrum it owns. The sale of spectrum, all of which is below 15GHz, will provide the country’s operators an opportunity to beef up their spectrum portfolios as they look to roll out LTE services.

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