Category Archives: Everything Everywhere

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.

EE doubles the 4G speed

Technology to be rolled out to 10 existing 4G cities by the summer as operator doubles the amount of 1800MHz bandwidth dedicated to the faster speeds

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EE is doubling the speed and capacity of its 4G network in a move that will boost headline speeds to 80Mbps and see average speeds for 4GEE customers exceed 20Mbps.

The operator is doubling the amount of 1800MHz spectrum bandwidth dedicated to 4G, from 10MHz to 20MHz. EE said trials of the new technology in Cardiff have seen headline speeds reach 80Mbps plus.

The faster speeds will roll out in 10 existing 4G cities by summer – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. This will be automatically available within existing plans to new and current customers.

EE has set itself a target of reaching one million 4G customers by the end of this year. It said among 4G network rollouts globally, converting 10 per cent of a contract base after 24 months is considered a successful deployment. More than one million 4GEE customers would represent around eight per cent of EE’s contract base, upgraded or acquired from rival networks within 14 months.

The operator added that it is aiming to trial carrier aggregation before the start of 2014, which would combine spectrum from different bands to further boost performance, speed and capacity. It claimed that through this, it will be able to deliver more 4G bandwidth than any other UK operator is able to, now and in the future.

It is also making further investments and improvements to its core network to enable a range of new services for its customers, including voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi), as well as enabling the delivery of both video and voice calls over 4G/LTE (VoLTE).

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “We are ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the digital revolution. Having already pioneered 4G here, we’re now advancing the country’s infrastructure again with an even faster, even higher-capacity network, and at no extra cost to our customers.

“Since we launched 4G, we’ve seen a huge shift in the way people are using mobile. Video already accounts for 24 per cent of all traffic on our 4G network – that’s significantly more than on 3G. Maps, mobile commerce, sat-nav tools and cloud services are all seeing a similar rise. Mobile users in the UK have a huge appetite for data-rich applications, and this will only grow as people become more familiar with and reliant upon next generation technologies and services.

“Our double speed 4G network will provide developers with the quality and speeds needed to develop the next wave of killer 4G apps. Whatever innovations they come up with, we’re ready.”

EE’s 4G services hits half of the UK’s population

EE's 4G services hits half of the UK's population

Next generation service goes live in 50th town or city

EE has turned on 4G in its 50th town or city, with its next generation service now covering half of the UK’s population.

4G went live today (28 March) in Bradford, Bingley, Doncaster, Dudley, Harpenden, Leicester, Lichfield, Loughborough, Luton, Reading, Shipley, St Albans and West Bromwich. EE said the roll out continues to be ahead of schedule and it plans to launch in another 30 towns and cities by the end of June. While it has largely stuck to introducing 4G to built up areas so far, it did roll out the service to rural Cumbria last week.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: ‘With these major milestones of 50 towns and cities and 50% of the population, we’re remaining ahead of our schedule to equip UK consumers and businesses with 4G. Our customers are at the heart of our rollout and we are working hard to deliver 4G to 70% of the UK population by the end of this year, and 98% of the population by the end of 2014.’

Sales rise by 10% per week since 4G launch – EE

EE claims its sales have risen by 10pc per week since 4G launch

CEO tells MWC audience UK now has some of the fastest 4G available in Europe

EE has experienced sales growth of 10 per cent every week since launching 4G in November, with over 1,000 UK businesses in the UK now using the technology.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee revealed the detail in his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress. He told the audience the network is seeing average speeds of more than 16Mbps and peak speeds of 50Mbps on a regular basis, adding: “That’s some of the fastest 4G speeds in Europe.”

Swantee also announced the average 4G customer uses 1.4GB of data per month and over a quarter of EE’s 4G traffic is videobased, with 11 per cent of this traffic on YouTube alone. Beyond video, maps, mobile banking and video calling in particular have seen the biggest uplift in use compared to 3G.

Swantee said: “With 4G taking off with EE in the UK and from other operators across Europe, I believe we are on the cusp of something very special – a golden age of mobile.

“It’s clear that the network is back as the hero of the mobile industry. Superfast and superreliable, it allows you to do more, play more, trade more.

“And that always-connected, superfast network is having a major impact on what people can do with their devices and, therefore, how manufacturers are designing their kit.

“It’s clear that the mobile industry – and the superfast network in particular – is at the very centre of industry and enterprise in the 21st century.”