Ofcom hits BT with £17.5M fine over emergency call system failure

Ofcom has imposed a £17.5 million fine on BT for its inadequate preparedness in handling a major disruption to its emergency call service last summer. The incident, which occurred on 25 June 2023, left nearly 14,000 emergency call attempts unsuccessful and potentially put lives at risk.

The failure, described as "catastrophic," affected BT's ability to connect calls to emergency services for over 10 hours, from 06:24 to 16:56. During this period, 12,392 different callers were...

5G and security: The dual telecoms challenges facing the new UK government

As the newly elected Labour government takes office in the UK after 14 years of Conservative rule, industry leaders are calling for urgent action on cybersecurity and digital infrastructure.

The recent high-profile cyberattacks on critical organisations like the NHS and MoD have exposed significant vulnerabilities in the UK's digital defences, prompting experts to demand a more robust approach to cybersecurity and accelerated 5G rollout.

Mark Coates, VP EMEA at Gigamon,...

Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 extend network sharing

Vodafone UK and Virgin Media O2 have announced a landmark agreement to extend and enhance their mobile network sharing arrangement for over a decade.

The agreement, which builds upon the existing partnership between the two telecom giants, is largely independent of the proposed merger between Vodafone UK and Three UK. However, should the merger receive regulatory approval, the deal includes provisions for Virgin Media O2 to acquire spectrum from the newly formed entity, dubbed...

Committee warns UK set to miss 4G coverage target

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee's report on the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme reveals critical issues in meeting the UK government's 95% 4G coverage goal by December 2025.

Launched in 2020, the SRN aims to improve 4G coverage from 91.4% to 95% of the UK landmass. Despite a steady increase to 93.1%, sustaining this progress becomes increasingly challenging as the remaining areas are harder to reach.

The report highlights that three out of four mobile...

BT to slash additional £3B in costs following full-fibre rollout peak

BT to slash additional £3 billion in costs following full-fibre rollout peak

BT has launched a new set of cost-saving initiatives worth £3 billion, following the completion of significant investments in its UK full-fibre broadband network, which prompted a rise in dividends.

The company saw a slight increase in revenue, reaching £20.8 billion—a 1% increase from the previous year—fueled by increased broadband prices, strong fibre product sales via Openreach, and growth in its consumer division.

However, even with increased revenue, the...

EU Telecom Ministers should safeguard open internet against Commission’s pro-telco proposals, coalition declares

EU Telecom Ministers called to safeguard open internet against Commission's pro-telco proposals, coalition declares

As discussions began at the EU Telecommunications Ministers' meeting, a diverse group of consumer associations, digital rights organisations and industry leaders highlighted their serious concerns over the prospective EU regulatory framework for telecommunications.

They expressed concerns that the Commission's recent initiatives could endanger the open internet and the competitive balance within the EU telecom market. These issues become more pressing in light of...

BT highlights the role of satellites in future-proofing networks

BT recently hosted an event at their Madley Communications Centre, drawing a mix of public and private sector guests to explore the influence of satellite technologies in today’s communication networks.

The Madley site, nestled in the Herefordshire countryside and spanning 63 acres, is regarded as BT’s main satellite earth station. As the demand for diverse and resilient communication solutions climbs, the centre’s role in the company’s network strategy has never been more...

Virgin Media O2 launches ‘smart support’ to proactively solve issues

Virgin Media O2 has begun rolling out a new "smart support" service aimed at proactively solving broadband issues for customers at no extra cost.

According to the company's research, over a third (34%) of British broadband users wouldn't feel confident trying to fix WiFi issues themselves—despite 98 percent relying on the internet daily.

The smart support service promises to enhance streaming, video calling, and gaming by monitoring customers' WiFi hubs and connection...

CMA launches in-depth probe into Vodafone-Three UK merger

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed it will conduct an in-depth Phase 2 investigation into the proposed merger between mobile operators Vodafone and Three. 

The competition watchdog had previously expressed concerns that the £11 billion ($13.92 billion) deal could lead to higher prices for consumers and reduced investment in Britain's mobile networks.

Last month, the CMA told Vodafone and Three they had five working days to respond with...

CMA raises concerns about proposed Vodafone-Three merger

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has expressed concerns over the proposed merger between Vodafone and Three, two of the UK's four major mobile network operators.

The regulator launched its initial Phase 1 investigation in January after the two companies announced a joint venture agreement last year that would combine their 27 million customers under a single network provider.

The CMA's 40-day Phase 1 review aimed to identify whether the deal could lead to a...