UK

UK government aims to be leading EU broadband nation by 2015

UK minister for culture, communications and the creative industries Ed Vaizey has pledged to ensure the UK becomes the leading European nation in terms of speed and penetration of fibre-based broadband services by 2015. Speaking at Chinese vendor Huawei’s Broadband Forum event in London today, the MP said that the UK has the most ambitious plan for broadband services of any European nation.

Weve signs with HR outsourcer

The m -commerce joint venture between UK operators Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone; Weve (formerly Project Oscar)is going down the outsourcing route to grow quickly. The JV will outsource HR, payroll and recruitment functions to HR outsourcing specialist plusHR.

EE revenue falls as a result of MTR and roaming cuts

The UK holding company for the Orange, T-Mobile and EE brands, Everything Everywhere, has seen its service revenue drop three per cent in the quarter ending September 30, 2012. Revenue fell to £1.50bn for the quarter, for which the firm blamed the impact of mobile termination rate (MTR) and roaming cuts. The company said that without these cuts service revenue would have grown by 3.1 per cent.

The Big Switch On: The marriage Orange and T-Mobile networks and the birth of 4G

The network is the backbone of our company. It’s been our core product for over 20 years. It began in the 90s with 2G and the first steps toward a digital revolution for mobile. 2G was great for making phone calls and sending texts. At the time, it was revolutionary, but very quickly it became a basic expectation for the people of the western world.

EE announces 4G price plans

UK operator group Everything Everywhere’s LTE brand EE has announced the pricing plans for its service, which will go live October 30. The operator has chosen to base its tariffs around volume of data, rather than speed. The cheapest 4G tariff including the full price of a handset is £41 per month with a 1GB data limit on a 24-month contract.

UK operators create firm to speed up 800MHz LTE

The UK’s four mobile network operators have formed a company to speed up the deployment of the 800MHz frequency band vacated by the Digital Switchover. Regulator Ofcom announced early October that the spectrum, which will be used to roll out LTE services will be made usable earlier than planned, following peace talks between the UK government, the nation’s operators and the telecommunications regulator Ofcom.

Skype launches wifi proposition

VoIP provider Skype has set up a public wifi network in the UK and Ireland in a bid to diversify its offering. The firm, acquired by Microsoft in 2011, has teamed up with wifi solutions provider Wicoms to roll out a service called Free Skype WiFi in UK high streets. The service enables shopping malls, retailers and other businesses to deliver public internet access to customers free of charge.

O2 and Vodafone get go-ahead for UK net share

The UK businesses of Telefónica and Vodafone have been granted permission by the country’s regulatory authorities to pool the basic parts of their network infrastructure to create one national grid. The grid will support two independent and competing networks delivering mobile coverage and mobile internet services to UK households.

UK moving towards operator billing for physical goods

UK operators could soon be facilitating payments for physical goods bought by subscribers via carrier billing services. Direct operator billing firm, Mach, has now signed Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, O2 and 3UK up to its Direct Operator Billing platform for digital goods, and said that the use of such a solution to purchase physical goods is on the horizon.

UK to split broadband pot among 10 cities

Ten UK cities have been allocated a share of a £114m (US$185 million) government investment to deploy city-wide broadband networks. London will receive the largest share, £25m, while Leeds and Bradford will share £14.4m. Belfast will receive £13.7m and Manchester £12m.

Vodafone, O2 could launch LTE in 900MHz band

UK regulator Ofcom has said that there is nothing stopping EE’s rivals, such as Vodafone and O2, from putting in an application to alter their 900MHz spectrum licence for LTE usage. A ruling in early 2011 meant that all operators are now free to use their 2G spectrum for 3G services, so extension of that same ruling to encompass 4G would be a small amend.

Huawei is EE’s LTE supplier

Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has been identified as the sole supplier of LTE base stations for EE’s network in the UK. The revelation gives context to the firm’s decision to make a £1.3bn R&D investment in the country.

Huawei pledges £1.3bn investment in the UK

Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei has pledged to invest £1.3bn ($2bn) in the UK, and create 700 more jobs in the country by 2017. The firm, which already employs over 800 people in the UK, said that it will invest £650m in a number of “global centres of technical and financial excellence”, as well as a further £650m in procurement on products and services.

Vodafone seethes as Ofcom clears UK LTE1800 launch

Mobile operator Vodafone has lambasted UK regulator Ofcom for its decision to allow Everything Everywhere to launch LTE services at 1800MHz, ahead of the LTE spectrum auction process. In a statement attributed to a Vodafone UK spokesperson the operator dismissed Ofcom’s ruling as “careless” and “bizarre”, adding that the regulator was “all that stands in the way” of a competitive LTE landscape for the UK.

Everything Everywhere cleared to launch LTE1800

LTE services could be launched in the UK in as early as three weeks, after the country’s regulator has given permission to Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver the technology to consumers. Ofcom has ruled that the operator will be allowed to launch LTE services at any point from September 11, 2012.

UK passes 2m super-fast broadband lines in service

The UK had passed the major milestone of 2mn active subscriptions to super-fast broadband services by the beginning of June, meaning that 10% of the country’s broadband lines are now capable of delivering speeds over 25 Mbps, according to a new report from UK research firm Point Topic.

UK government’s broadband strategy attacked by Lords’ report

The UK government is taking the wrong approach to delivering broadband across the UK, according to a report from a House of Lords committee. The report from the Select Committee on Communications claims that the governments current approach favours speed over coverage, and runs the risk that large parts of the UK run the will be left with inadequate connectivity.

Delayed arrival of 4G in UK puts nation light years behind

The UK is already seen as Europe’s most complex and fragmented telecoms market and it now looks set to add another unwanted title to its repertoire as that of Europe’s 4G laggard. Europe’s telecoms markets are already dividing into two camps of 4G “haves” and “have-nots” and the UK lies firmly stuck in the latter. The auction proposal set out this week by Ofcom means that the UK will not see 4G LTE services go live until later in 2013 at the earliest, putting UK mobile consumers almost four years behind the world’s leading 4G markets.

UK operators split over net neutrality code of practice

UK fixed and mobile operators are divided over whether to sign up to a voluntary code of practice in support of net neutrality. While ten service providers have signed up, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Virgin Media have so far refused.

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