UK

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.

UK broadband gets budget boost

Twelve cities in the UK will receive additional funding for superfast broadband following an autumn budget update. UK Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that 12 smaller cities would benefit from a funding pot of £50m, in addition to the 10 cities that were added earlier in the year.

UK rural broadband aid approved by EU

Rural areas in the UK will soon receive a ‘superfast’ broadband boost after the UK government received approval to pump £530m into its Broadband Development UK (BDUK) upgrade scheme.

Wifi carries 78% of UK Android data

UK Android smartphone users access almost 80 per cent of their mobile data over wifi networks, according to research from Nielsen. In a study of some 1,500 Android users with a metering app installed on their devices, Nielsen found that wifi offload varied considerably depending on the time of day, but averaged 78 per cent.

Vodafone records 1H loss of £1.89bn

Vodafone has announced a loss of £1.89bn for the six months to the end of September 2012 on the back of write downs for its Spanish and Italian operations totaling £5.9bn. The international operator recorded a profit of £6.64bn for the same period in 2011 and chief executive Vittorio Colao said the 1H12 results reflected “tougher market conditions, mainly in Southern Europe”.

Ofcom sets £1.3bn reserve price for UK LTE auction

UK regulator Ofcom has released its regulations and schedule for the auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum to be used for LTE services. The regulator has set a reserve price of £1.3bn for all available spectrum, including 2x15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum that Everything Everywhere is required to divest as part of the deal that saw it cleared to launch LTE at 1800MHz in October.

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