Category Archives: Network Operators

Mobile Network Operators

5G Networks To Be Rolled Out in 2020

The UK telecoms regulator has set a timetable for the launch of 5G services in Britain by 2020, with early trials set to take place as soon as next year.

The Ofcom announcement comes ahead of a spectrum auction due to take place this year that will free up the airwaves needed for faster 5G networks.

The technical standards for the new network technology are still being thrashed out but it is expected to bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband for consumers as well as supporting myriad connected devices — from street lights to driverless cars to heart monitors — that make up the “internet of things”.

Countries including South Korea and China are forging ahead with 5G launches that are expected in 2019. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has said he wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G, while the EU has predicted the faster networks will provide an economic boost of €113bn by 2025.

However, some in the industry have questioned whether 5G has been overhyped and whether telecoms companies really have the incentive to spend billions of pounds on new network equipment.

EE, which was the first network to launch 4G, is keen to retain its pioneer position and be first to launch 5G, according to senior sources with knowledge of the situation.

The launch of 4G was delayed after some telecom companies sued the regulator over the spectrum auction process.

For the 5G sale, both Three and O2 want a “spectrum cap” that would limit the power of EE, now owned by BT, and Vodafone. EE already owns 45 per cent of the country’s spectrum and Vodafone has 28 per cent.

The 5G auction was postponed last year, as a result of Three’s attempt to take over O2, a deal that was ultimately blocked.

BT in negotiation to buy EE

Telecoms giant BT is in exclusive talks to buy EE – Britain’s largest mobile network group – for £12.5bn.

It said the period of exclusivity would last “several weeks” to enable it to carry out the necessary negotiations. In late November, BT said it was in talks to buy either EE or O2, which is owned by Spanish firm Telefonica.

Vodafone, Sky, Virgin, Talk Talk and 3 – the other major players in this market – will all be watching developments closely.

EE leads the market in 4G (the fastest mobile bandwidth), has 24.5 million customers, and holds 33.8% of the UK mobile market by revenue, according to Citigroup.

BT said owning EE would accelerate its plan of giving customers seamless access to the Internet whether via fibre broadband, wi-fi hotspots or 4G mobile services.

If acquisition goes ahead, BT will be able to provide innovative packages of TV and telecoms that could reshape how people buy their communications services in the UK. For example, BT Sport could be offered with no data charges, or even exclusive access, on an iPad or smartphone.

The decision to buy a mobile business will also reduce BT’s reliance on earnings from Openreach, the infrastructure arm of the company. Analysts said the deal will turn the unregulated consumer access and content business into more than half the enterprise value of the group.

The deal also provides BT with a new story to tell investors and an opportunity to reset market expectations over future earnings. There were signs that growth in its core superfast broadband business was slowing in the last quarter, while its TV business — for all the noise and fanfare — has not seen spectacular growth.

However, there are also some problems ahead, not least the need for network investment as EE has aimed to provide 4G services to 98 per cent of the country within the next few years.

 

EE denies rumours about selling data to third parties

EE denies sale of customers’ data to third parties

EE said press coverage suggesting it sold data by which customers could be identified, and that it was being offered to third parties, is “simply not true”

EE has rubbished reports it sells personal information about its customers to market research firm Ipsos Mori, following news reports the data was being passed on to third parties.

The Sunday Times claimed EE provided Ipsos with data which included subscribers’ gender, age, postcode, websites visited, time texts were sent and their location when calls are made, and that the research firm had met with the Met Police to discuss potential uses.

While the Met Police admitted a meeting was held on ways the information could be used to tackle crime, it now says it has no intention of purchasing the data.

EE said media coverage suggesting it sells individual personal information on its customers to Ipsos are “simply not true”.

It said the data does not contain information such as names, phone numbers and account addresses.

“The data we do provide is completely anonymised and aggregated into data sets of 50 or more in order to remove any individual references or identifiers,” the operator said.

EE said it had “no knowledge” of any meeting between Ipsos and the Met Police and insisted it does not share customers’ individual personal data with any third party.

“Ipsos could not have possibly sold this to the police, as reports have suggested,” EE said.

Not all Galaxy S4 pre-orders will be fulfilled at launch – Vodafone

Vodafone warns not all S4 pre-orders will be fulfilled at launch

Operator tells customers it does not have enough stock for all its pre-orders of the new Samsung Galaxy

Vodafone has warned customers who have pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S4 they may not receive their device at launch, as demand is outstripping its handset supply.

Posting to customers on its feedback forum, the operator warned it had received more pre-orders than it had stock due to arrive from Samsung, and it was in contact with suppliers to get more handsets.

The operator confirmed those who pre-ordered will be first in the queue when more stock arrives.

The statement told customers: “At the moment we have more pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 than we’ve had devices from Samsung. What we have will be delivered on Friday. We’re working closely with Samsung to get more phones and we’ll update you as soon as we’re able.

“If you’ve pre-ordered you’ll be first in the queue as soon as more stock arrives. We’ll email you to let you know when you can expect to get your new phone.”