Virgin and O2’s merger is granted provisional approval

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has granted provisional regulatory approval of Virgin’s proposed merger with O2.

In November last year, the European Commission – which, pre-Brexit, had regulatory oversight over the deal – referred the proposed merger to the UK’s competition regulator.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, said at the time:

“These are incredibly important UK markets, that continue to evolve, and the deal needs to be...

BT proposes a £1,500 bonus for its vital frontline workers

Telecoms workers are the unsung heroes which kept the nation connected when it needed it most, and BT wants to recognise their efforts with a £1,500 bonus.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, commented:

“BT has made a massive contribution to the national cause over the past year: we’ve supported the NHS, families and businesses, and avoided the use of redundancy or furlough in our response to the pandemic.

Our frontline colleagues and key workers have been true heroes,...

Ofcom updates wholesale rules to accelerate the full-fibre rollout

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has updated its wholesale rules with the aim of accelerating the full-fibre rollout.

Full-fibre broadband was a key pledge of Johnson’s government but, like most plans, was somewhat derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the UK’s successful vaccine rollout enabling a cautious roadmap to lifting lockdown restrictions, the focus is now shifting to how the country can “build back better” from a virus which dithering and chaotic policymaking...

UK completes 5G spectrum auction following two-month delay

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has completed its 5G spectrum auction following a two-month delay.

The spectrum auction was initially scheduled to take place in January but was pushed back amid another wave of COVID-19.

“The auction and subsequent release of spectrum remain central to the future rollout of mobile networks and 5G. The economy’s recovery from COVID-19 is dependent on resilient digital infrastructure and we urge Ofcom to resist any further requests for...

Starlink expands its satellite broadband service to all UK regions

SpaceX’s satellite broadband service Starlink has expanded to all regions of the United Kingdom.

The service, currently still in beta, was previously only available in southern England. Today, the company has announced an expansion to cover parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England.

Starlink says users should currently expect data speeds to vary between 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s over the next several months, with brief periods of no connectivity...

Vodafone calls for cybersecurity policies to support the recovery of SMEs

Vodafone is calling on the government to support the pandemic recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by introducing new cybersecurity policies.

According to a report (PDF) commissioned by Vodafone and published today, almost a quarter of SMEs – representing around 1.3 million businesses – claim they would not be able to continue operating following a cyberattack.

The report’s findings show how many SMEs have been left teetering following the...

EE announces major rural 4G coverage expansion plan

BT-owned EE has announced plans to expand its 4G coverage in more than 500 areas this year to boost rural connectivity.

The expansion is part of the government’s Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative signed by the UK’s four major operators: EE, Vodafone, O2, and Three.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said:

"I'm delighted to see the great strides EE is making to boost 4G services in countryside communities as part of the Shared Rural...

GWS: 5G is already making a ‘marked improvement’ in UK speeds

Research from Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) has found that good progress in 5G deployments is already making a “marked improvement” in UK speeds.

According to GWS’ network scanner testing, 5G is available across 37 percent of the 37 major cities, towns, and roads tested.

Throughput testing has shown that average speeds are boosted nearly five times in areas where 5G is available. Across all operators, 5G areas are delivering 150Mbps average speeds compared to...

Ofcom revokes GCTN’s broadcast license and rejects transfer over CCP links

Ofcom has revoked the broadcast license of China Global Television Network (CGTN) and rejected its proposed transfer to a new entity over its links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

CGTN is an English-speaking international satellite news channel and must conform to UK broadcasting laws to operate in the country.

Under British law, broadcast licensees must have full control over the service–-including editorial oversight over the programmes they show. Licensees...

Vodafone, Three, and O2 commit to building 222 masts together

Three of the UK’s four major telcos have committed to building 222 new masts as part of an endeavour to address rural coverage issues.

Vodafone, O2, and Three UK will build and share the new masts to improve rural 4G coverage across all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said:

“We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together.

Our unique collaboration...