UK

Sky fills out with Cloud

Perhaps traffic offload is not the only motivation for O2 UK to roll out its own wifi network. On Thursday British broadcaster BSkyB confirmed its acquisition of the Cloud, giving the firm ownership of over 5,000 public wifi locations across the UK and one of O2’s wifi partners. While it does not operate a mobile network, Sky, in some respects is a competing service provider, especially when it comes to content.

O2 pitches free wifi to UK

UK mobile operator O2 made a bold move on Wednesday, promising free wifi for UK users, regardless of the provider they are with.

Vodafone targets SMEs with MVNA deal

K-based Vodafone and Gamma Telecom have signed a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA) wholesale agreement, which will enable Gamma’s channel partners to become full MVNOs. The deal is Vodafone UK’s first MVNA which specifically targets the business market and combines Gamma’s channel partnerships with Vodafone’s network. Gamma’s partners will retain their own customer relationships, and have direct control over price and branding, so they can offer a wider range of converged fixed and mobile solutions to small business.

New executives arrive at Arqiva, Acision

UK communications infrastructure operator Arqiva this week appointed John Cresswell as CEO, effective January 17. Cresswell had been serving as interim CEO at broadcaster ITV, where he also held the position of chief operating officer.

T-Mobile UK calls time on unlimited data deals

UK operator T-Mobile, now part of Everything Everywhere, piqued the consumer press on Tuesday with a new mandate to curb multimedia downloads and save its network from congestion. But the all-you-can-eat data party has been over for some time already and with no adverse effects to users.

Ofcom opens up 2G spectrum for 3G services

UK communications regulator Ofcom on Thursday officially opened the doors for mobile operators to use their 2G spectrum for 3G services. Measures to allow refarming of 2G spectrum will see the UK follow other European countries including Finland, France and Portugal in the deployment of UMTS in the spectrum bands formerly reserved for GSM.

iPad to be subsidised in Europe

The Apple iPad will be subsidised in Europe by mobile operators Orange and T-Mobile, in a bid to boost the postpaid user base.

UK warms to tiered internet

UK minister for culture, communications and creative industries, Ed Vaizey, delivered a bit of a shocker at the FT World Telecoms conference in London on Wednesday, calling for a tiered internet, where paid for traffic is prioritised.

London Underground trials wifi

London Underground has teamed up with BT Openzone in a six-month trial of wifi at Charing Cross tube station. The trial will include live Transport for London (TfL) service updates available to all. O2, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone and Orange users can also use the BT Openzone network.

UK regulator Ofcom to be reformed, duties removed

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator will be reformed as part of the new UK government’s cost cutting plan, in which 192 quangos will be axed altogether. Under the initiative Ofcom will merge with Postcomm, the postal services regulator, and several of its duties will be removed of modified.

More competition in UK superfast broadband space

UK communications regulator Ofcom said this week that BT should allow rivals access to its newly laid fibre network and supporting infrastructure, promoting increased competition in the superfast broadband sector. Cable carrying rival Virgin Media has jumped all over this one, announcing plans to expand its own fibre network across BT’s footprint.

BT source of customer data leaked after piracy hack

UK telco BT has been revealed as the source of a list of personal customer data, which has been made publicly available on the internet. The list in question, containing more than 500 names of broadband account holders, was sent from BT’s legal department in late August to a law firm ACS: Law. The names on the list are allegedly linked with the illegal sharing of copyrighted material.

Everything Everywhere details first results

The newly merged mobile operations of UK operators T-Mobile and Orange, Everything Everywhere, reported 27.9 million subscriptions at end June, up 3.4 per cent year-on-year. EBITDA came in at £309m, down from £379m in 2Q09 as service revenues decreased over the same period, mainly due to termination rates. Everything Everywhere confirmed that it will meet its synergy net present value target of at least £3.5bn.

UK MVNO Lebara offers contract subscriptions

Pan-European MVNO Lebara, expanded its presence in the UK market with the addition of post paid contracts. The plans offer 2500 international or UK minutes and three month contracts, with prices ranging from just £10 up to £40. All plans include up to 2000 Lebara-to-Lebara call minutes and text messages and up to 10MB of mobile internet access per day free until November 1.Lebara piggybacks on the Vodafone UK network.

O2 claims success from mobile ad unit

UK mobile operator O2 said it is seeing traction for mobile marketing, with more than one million customers signing up to the O2 More service in the first year of its launch.

Project Canvas to launch as YouView in 2011

Project Canvas, the UK-based internet TV coalition created to drive supply and demand of online, interactive TV services has revealed that its commercial offering, to be known as YouView, will launch in 2011.

Orange, T-Mobile begin network merger

The UK arms of Orange and T-Mobile began promoting the consumer benefits of their mammoth merger on Monday. But the service improvement promises made by the newly created company—Everything Everywhere—seemed to carry an acknowledgement that the coverage profiles of the two networks individually were previously somewhat lacking.

TalkTalk to launch MVNO in UK

UK internet service provider TalkTalk, which recently demerged from the Carphone Warehouse, said Monday it had struck a deal with Vodafone wholesale over the launch of an MVNO.

UK outlines plans to auction 4G spectrum

UK communications regulator Ofcom has finally been given the go ahead to move forward with the auctioning of 4G spectrum, as well as the refarming of 2G spectrum so it can be used for 3G services. However, ongoing delays have put the country behind other parts of Western Europe and operators are unlikely to get their hands on the attractive 2.6GHz band before 2012.

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