Category Archives: Mobile Devices

Google unveils ‘Project Fi’

IOL pic apr23 google colour word

Los Angeles – Google said on Wednesday it was launching its own US mobile wireless service, with considerable potential savings for customers using their devices at home and for international travel.

The service called Project Fi is only available by invitation for now, and only for the Google Nexus 6 smartphone.

The service will use Wi-Fi hotspots along with the US mobile networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, and also may be used in 120 countries without roaming charges.

It will be offered at a monthly cost of $20 for basic service plus $10 per month for each gigabyte of data used. Customers will only pay for the data they use, unlike some carriers which offer packages.

“Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” a Google blog post said.

“By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate.”

The service “automatically connects to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable,” Google said.

“When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.”

Google said the connections will be encrypted and the phone number “lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop”.

For global travel, Project Fi will enable low-cost calling in many countries, and data access at 3G speeds without additional charges.

The new service could give a boost to the Nexus handset line from Motorola, which was sold by Google last year to Lenovo, and eventually to other phones powered by Google’s Android operating system.

“This will be Google’s biggest effort to displace Apple,” said Rob Enderle, a consultant and analyst at Enderle Group.

“Apple’s vulnerability is on margins, they have to have big ones so they haven’t been able to do (a mobile service) that would be competitive with a carrier. Google therefore can provide a better and vastly more aggressively priced service than Apple can offer with a carrier.”

But analyst Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates said the project would be “very limited” and unlikely to create immediate problems for big carriers AT&T and Verizon.

“It’s just Google trying to stir everything and trying to say: maybe there’s a better way to do this whole wireless connectivity thing,” Gold said.

“It’s not going to cost them a lot of money to do this. Google isn’t investing anything in infrastructure.”

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Jaguar Land Rover & BMW to launch technology startups.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are launching initiatives to encourage automotive technology startups.

The newly founded BMW Startup Garage sets out to tap directly into the potential of particularly innovative startups. With the BMW Startup Garage, the BMW Group is continuing its successful collaboration with startup companies. The combination of the strategic and global planning clout of a large corporation with the culture of ongoing innovation, creativity and venturesomeness that marks out successful startups has already proved a winning recipe. In addition to the BMW Startup Garage, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures also fosters the exchange with young enterprises developing innovative solutions for urban mobility.

The BMW Group has, moreover, joined forces with the Centre for Innovation and Business Creation – UnternehmerTUM – at Munich’s Technical University in order to set up the “TEchFounders” accelerator programme for technology startups. The Accelerator Programme introduces the BMW Group to innovative technologies, products and services at a very early stage, with the option of working together with the startup teams.

The BMW Group has always actively sought new, pathbreaking technologies, but until now it has been difficult for startups to present their ideas to the company – the internal processes and procedures of a major enterprise can be quite daunting to fledgling companies. With its slimmed-down, efficient processes, the BMW Startup Garage now allows for swift and flexible collaborative projects. That way more startups can be identified and integrated more rapidly. Any interested startup companies can apply online to the BMW Startup Garage. The selection is then made directly via the BMW Startup Garage in close consultation with the innovation management team and the relevant departments of the BMW Group.

Selected startups subsequently undergo a special programme lasting several months. At the core of this programme is the development of a functional prototype with an application relevant to the BMW Group. Startups also receive assistance in building up their network within the Group and in drawing up a business plan.

In principle, any startup anywhere in the world can apply. And the scheme is not restricted to companies in the automotive sector, but extends to technologies that can be transferred to automotive engineering applications. However, applicants must meet a number of requirements as well: “We’re looking for good startups and not good inventors,” explains Matthias Meyer. “Anyone thinking of applying needs to bring along not just a great idea but a great team as well. After all, only a top-flight team can make ideas work successfully.”

As Jaguar Land Rover reveals In Control Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the all-new Jaguar XF, it has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.

Jaguar Land Rover will now launch an ‘Innovation Incubator’ project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start-ups.

The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need Jaguar Land Rover’s technical help to make these concepts a reality. The Innovation Incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start-up companies for Jaguar Land Rover to work with over the next decade.

Nick Rogers, Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas, rather like TV’s Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den! If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas.”

This support includes a space in a new ‘Innovation Incubator’ centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start-ups. Jaguar Land Rover will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start-ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.

“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland,” said Matt Jones, Head of Future Infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover, who will manage the new facility.

Jaguar Land Rover has already run a pilot for the ‘Innovation Incubator’ programme and identified a project with a US technology start-up called Vonsor.

The innovative Vonsor system is currently under development with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in Portland. The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.

“This is completely in tune with the social media generation. People of all ages love to capture their experiences on their smartphones and share them. The Vonsor system allows you to save both your on and off-road driving adventures, with cameras integrated in the vehicle filming anything from wheels articulating over an obstacle, to the whole family having fun inside the car whilst driving along. Vonsor would allow you to collate all of that footage, edit it together and post it all from the vehicle’s touchscreen – so everyone can share the experience,” said Justyn Baker from Vonsor. “We met Jaguar Land Rover at a start-up pitch competition, and it has been great to get their support and insight. It has helped open my eyes to more possibilities than I had ever imagined.”

Sources: BMW, JLR

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Dashmount Vehicle Mounting Brackets

The latest mobile devices installed in commercial vehicles used by mobileVauxhall_Insigni_52dea7482f7f1 engineers and delivery drivers to improve efficiency and communication with customers need a strong mounting solution tough enough to deal with demanding every day use.

Dash mount manufacture vehicle specific non-damaging vehicle mounts that are easy to install without damaging the vehicle interior and tough enough to deal with the rigours of everyday professional use.

The Dash Mount brackets are manufactured in Norway using a specialised manufacturing process  and currently consist of over 1500 adaptions for different vehicles.

A close cooperation with the European automotive industry since 1988 has given Dash mount a unique understanding of how to develop mounting solutions for individual vehicles and bring them to market quickly.

The Dash mount brackets are the only in-car mounting solution that have full safety approval from TÜV Rheinland, the German Traffic Department. The  approval includes everything from the development, documentation, production, installation an crash test of the product.

Co-Star are the UK distributor for Dash mount and stock a comprehensive range at there distribution centre located close to Harrogate in the UK.

For more information please visit our website: Co-Star





BT to launch consumer mobile services this week – reports

BT, the UK fixed-line incumbent, is reportedly set to announce BT brand identityan aggressive return to the consumer mobile market, with 4G offers aimed at undercutting key rivals.

The service, said to be called BT Mobile, will be delivered through an MVNO deal with EE, which was signed in October 2013 (well before BT agreed a £12.5 billion takeover of the UK’s largest mobile operator).

It is believed BT will primarily target its mobile offering at existing customers, so stoking the market further for bundled packages of fixed and mobile products.

Although BT gives away its sports TV channels for free to entice broadband customers, theFinancial Times reports that the operator will not be giving away mobile services in the same way.

Nonetheless, it seems likely that BT’s mobile subscribers will be lured by free premium content. The Telegraph pointed out that BT executives have hinted in the past that the operator will repeat its strategy in the pay-TV market, where it offers Premier League football for free to broadband subscribers.

The same UK newspaper, quoting “industry sources”, said BT would undercut 4G packages from main rivals – O2, Vodafone, and even EE – but services would not be as cheap as first feared.

Apparently there is no intention of matching the lowest offers from 3 UK, the smallest mobile network operator, which starts 4G pricing at £11 per month.

The Telegraph said BT is planning to delay its big marketing push until the summer, after the current football season ends.

Moreover, the service will be offered on a SIM-only basis.

If the deal with EE gets green light from regulators – which is expected by the end of the year – BT will then of course have access to EE’s retails stores. With that in mind, BT has less incentive to pile lots of resources now into selling devices.

By launching the service this week, BT CEO Gavin Patterson makes good on his promise to launch a consumer mobile play before the end of the operator’s current financial year (31 March).

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has already started an ‘informal’ inquiry into the BT/EE merger, inviting responses from rival operators about they think the potential market impact might be.

According to the FT, UK-based infrastructure player CityFibre has already said that the BT/EE deal could prove bad for competition, citing fears over its own deal to provide backhaul connectivity to the mobile player.

CityFibre announced a deal with EE and 3 UK’s MBNL partnership in November 2014, to provide connectivity starting with a project in Kingston-Upon-Hull. With EE forming part of an enlarged BT, CityFibre would be likely to lose a lucrative customer for its own network.

Source: Mobile World Live

Bluetooth to guide blind and patially sighted commuters around London Underground

A smart phone app designed to guide blind and partially sighted commuters around the London underground is currently undergoing a trial at Pimlico station.

The Wayfindr system, which came from the desire of the Royal London tube-blind-620x349Society for Blind People (RLSB’s) Youth Forum to navigate the tube independently, is being developed by global digital product studio ustwo.

Watch the video of BBC Health Editor, Hugh Pym, reporting on the trial featured on the BBC evening news.

Signals transmitted by Bluetooth beacons are picked up by a smartphone, and in conjunction with ustwo’s indoor positioning technology, the Wayfindr app is able to locate itself and give the user audible instructions.

The app is paired with commonly available ‘bone conduction’ earphones that do not prevent wearers from hearing the sounds around them.

Following an initial trial and discussions with London Underground, ustwo and London Underground’s Technology and Innovation team have partnered to jointly fund a month’s testing of the technology. 16 Bluetooth low energy beacons have been installed at Pimlico station and young vision impaired Londoners involved with the charity are now testing Wayfindr on the Underground.

Gareth Powell, London Underground Director of Strategy & Service Development, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this trial… As well as testing an exciting new technology, the trial is giving us valuable information to help us understand and design for the future needs of our visually impaired customers.”

Wayfindr’s ambition is to standardise all audio signage across Transport for London, offering a seamless and simple way to navigate public transport. In its current form, the app talks the user through the station using directions triggered by the beacons – guiding them around the ticket hall, down escalators and stairs and safely onto the platform.

“I am so happy to see Wayfindr come to life.” Said Courtney Nugent, RLSB Youth forum member.

“When I tested the app at Pimlico last week for the first time it was awesome, it made me feel free.”

RLSB CEO Tom Pey, congratulated the blind young members of the youth forum who made this breakthrough a reality.

“You have demonstrated the creativity and tenacity to change the transport system of London; I believe there ought to be amazing opportunities for young people like you.”

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport praised the trial and highlighted the importance of technology for future accessible travel.

“This is another great example of how London is leading the way in making public transport more accessible for everyone. These trials will hopefully prove that this sort of technology works in real life situations and will give people more freedom and confidence to travel around our capital.”

BBC Health Editor, Hugh Pym, attended the trial with members of RLSB’s Youth Forum. Read his full article on the BBC website.

Wayfindr was conceived by the forum as a practical solution to solve the challenges faced by vision impaired people wishing to travel independently on London’s transport, highlighted in their Youth Manifesto published in March last year. The manifesto covered transport, education and employment, and as the Wayfindr trial shows, the Youth Forum is continuing to work hard to make a positive impact on the lives of blind young people.

Incease on mobile phone use whilst driving

Latest survey shows that mobile phone use whilst driving has increased.

The Government’s latest mobile phone use survey (published on 25 February) gives cause for concern as it shows that mobile phone use whilst driving in England has increased.

The report showed that the proportion of car drivers seen using a hand-held mobile phone has gone up. Overall, 1.6% of all drivers in England and Scotland were observed to be using a hand held mobile phone and that could be as many as half a million drivers every day!

Most were observed using the phone in their hand (1.1%) rather than holding it to their ear (0.5%) suggesting that most mobile phone use while driving is sending/receiving texts or using social media.

Male drivers (1.7%) are more likely to use a mobile phone than female drivers (1.3%) and van drivers (2.7%) are more likely to be observed using a mobile phone than car drivers (1.4%) or goods vehicle/lorry drivers (1.2%).

The only way to counter White Van Man’s addiction to mobiles is to have more cops in cars and for employers to take their duty of care more seriously. If not they could face corporate manslaughter charges.

It’s worrying that the percentage of car drivers using a hand-held mobile phone has not gone down since 2009. This shows that there is a hard-core of drivers who still believe there is nothing wrong with their behaviour and continue to put their own lives, and the lives of others, at risk by using their phone behind the wheel.

We know how common this behaviour is from our AA-Populus motoring panel.  Virtually all of our members say they see other drivers using a hand-held mobile phone on most journeys, and the majority (81%) think that speaking on a hand-held mobile phone should be categorised as a dangerous driving offence in the event of a fatal collision.

Education and enforcement are the tools needed to try and keep our roads safe for everyone who uses them.

Edmund King  (26 February 2015)

Co-Star supply  hands-free car kits  and mounting solutions  for all types of vehicles to ensure that you communicate safely and legally whilst your on the move.

To view the Parrot CK3100 Bluetooth Hands Free Kit, click here.

For all hands free car kits and accessories click here.


The Ring Video Doorbell: See who’s ringing your doorbell from your smartphone

An internet-connected doorbell isn’t a new idea. The Doorbot of a few years ago was clunky and ugly, but tantalizing: someone rings your doorbell, your smartphone blurts and buzzes, and with a tap, you can initiate a videochat with the visitor. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the kitchen, at the office, or on Oahu. You can talk to them and see them. They can hear you, but they can’t see you. If it’s a delivery, you can give the guy permission to leave a package and instructions on where to stash it.



The Ring Video Doorbell offers a more refined and comprehensive approach. It adds motion sensing, so it can alert your phone when somebody walks through your yard or onto your porch. It also records video and audio of each event (a ringing of the bell or a motion detection) and stores it in the cloud for later review.

The Ring unit costs $200, and you install it yourself. It’s about the size of a Cracker Jack box, with a 180-degree HD camera near the top. Below the camera eye is a circular button surrounded by an LED ring. At the bottom is a speaker for barking commands at your friendly FedEx driver. The companion app is free, as is the user account that lets you access the Ring’s features. The cloud storage of all your recorded events is free through April 1, and then $3 per month or $30 per year.

The Ring Video Doorbell doesn’t offer a live video feed or the ability to constantly record footage, but Ring does say it will allow remote camera access at some point in the future, so you can take a peek even when nothing triggers the camera.


Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

All the tools necessary for installation are included—even caulk and a miniature level. Before you mount the Ring, you charge it using USB (you’ll probably have to take it down and recharge it once per year) and connect it to your Wi-Fi network, which happens through the smartphone app.

I couldn’t install it where I wanted to—my boring old doorbell sits in the middle of a piece of molding far too narrow for properly mounting the Ring. After viewing the video feed from various locations, I chose a spot on the side of my house near the door. Had I been able to install the Ring where my old-school doorbell was, I could have used the existing wiring to power it, and the chime already installed in my house. Such a hardwired installation would eliminate the biggest disadvantage of going completely wireless: You must have your phone nearby in order to receive an alert of someone at the door. Additionally, a babysitter, housesitter or the like would have no clue when someone is at the door unless you take the time to add them as an approved user on your Ring (this also requires them to have a smartphone running the app).

In other words, if you can hardwire the Ring into your current system, you absolutely should.

When someone presses the button on Ring, your smartphone begins to, well, ring. The same goes for the unit itself—it rings to let the person at your door know something is happening. Opening the notification brings up a live video feed, where you can Reject or Accept the invitation to interact.

In my tests, the elapsed time between a doorbell press and the arrival of the alert on my phone varied. Some were nearly instant, others took upward of 30 seconds to arrive. That’s a long time for someone to stand at your door, awaiting an answer. I’m not sure what caused the delay on those occasions, but it shows the notifications should be more reliable.

Bodies in Motion

On my test unit, the folks at Ring enabled the new motion-detection feature—which is being offered to all customers starting this weekend—so I could give it an exclusive early look.

Using motion sensors sitting above the camera, Ring can alert you when someone is at your door before they even press the doorbell. This is especially useful when my UPS or FedEx driver, for some unknown reason, leaves a package and refuses to ring my doorbell. Also, before the button is even pressed, Ring detects motion at your door and begins recording video. This makes it possible to view what happened at your door before the bell was pressed, a feature surely appreciated by those who’ve seen Billy Madison.

While a welcome addition, the motion detection requires some fine-tuning. The first day with the feature enabled, I received multiple alerts that motion was detected. But as I confirmed by watching the captured video, there was nothing there.

You can customize the motion detection feature by designating “zones” for the Ring to monitor. The interface within the app is simple: tap on one of six zones to toggle its status. A slider on the side of the screen adjusts the distance of the monitoring from five to 30 feet from the eye. Once I cut the range of Ring’s monitoring in half, to roughly 15 feet, the false alarms stopped.

When I first installed and set up the Ring, I had convinced myself the video recording feature wasn’t something I’d need after the free period expired. But I can say now, the peace of mind in knowing any activity at my door is being recorded is worth the minimal fee. Not to mention, you can download any of the videos to your mobile device for easy sharing with family members, or in the hopefully unlikely case where it’s necessary, the authorities.

Source: Wired

Co-Star’s Latest RF Connectors for Wireless Applications

C23SRP_025SP-RPCo-Star has developed a new range of RF connectors and adapters  for connecting external antennas to Wireless Routers, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) and other wireless devices.

FME Male to TS9 Male Right Angle Adaptor Cable

The TS9 connector is often used across a number of cellular, GSM, 3G and 4G dongles, data cards and modems. Very similar in appearance to the CRC9 connector, the TS9 plug has a  gold plated centre pin and circular barrel with slots at the end. The C74-FP-025TS9RA cable has been designed to quickly & easily  covert an antenna terminated with an FME female which is a common connector used for mobile applications to TS9 without having to re-crimp. Co-Star have used a right angle TS9 connector to ensure secure connection into the wireless device. The cable length is 250mm of RG174 coax.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female AdaptorCF_40

Widely used by Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers RP SMA connectors are designed to prevent consumers from accidently  connecting antennas with gain which would breach compliance. The female RP-SMA connector has the same external housing as a standard or conventional female SMA connector, which consists of an outer shell with the threads on the outside; however, the center receptacle is replaced by a male pin. Similarly, the RP-SMA male has threads on the inside like a conventional male, but has a center receptacle instead of the male pin in the middle.

The CF.40 adaptor has a Reverse Polarity male and standard SMA female to enable engineers to convert a standard SMA male which is a commonly used as standard by antenna manufacturers to SMA Male Reverse Polarity.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female Reverse Polarity

Manufactured using low loss RG58 coaxial cable (250mm) the C23SRP.025SP/RP SMA Male RP to SMA Female RP cable extension can be used to convert the genders of RP SMA connectors on antennas or as a cable extension.

Source: Co-Star


BT to buy mobile firm EE for £12.5bn

EE shopEE will make BT into a leader in the 4G mobile market

Telecoms group BT has bought the mobile operator EE for £12.5bn.

The takeover creates a communications giant covering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. Existing EE shareholders Orange and Deutsche Telekom will sell 100% of their shares.

Deutsche Telecom will hold 12% in the new combined business and have a seat on the board.

Orange will receive a 4% stake, as well as about £3.4bn in cash.

BT says it plans to raise £1bn through a placing of new shares to fund the deal.

“Start Quote

This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them”

End Quote Gavin Patterson BT chief executive

It said in a statement: “The combination of EE and BT will provide customers with innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities.”

Savings and revenues

EE leads the market in 4G, the fastest mobile bandwidth. It said on Thursday its 4G customer base had risen to 7.7 million subscribers.

EE chief executive Olaf Swantee said: “Today’s announcement will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the mobile revolution, bringing even more innovation and investment in world leading connectivity for our customers.”

BT says that within four years, the deal will be saving it £360m a year in terms of operating costs and capital investment.

It added that by combining the two businesses, it should be able to generate an extra £1.6bn a year in sales.

BT Group

Last Updated at 05 Feb 2015, 10:47 *Chart shows local time BT Group intraday chart

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BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them.”

He said the money being spent on the deal did not affect its plans ahead of the multi-billion pound Premier League rights auction, where it is in tough competition with rival Sky.

BT shares rose more than 2.5% on the London market, making the firm the top gainer on the FTSE 100 index.

crowd with phonesToo crowded – the UK telecoms industry looks set to consolidate


The mobile phone market is expected to consolidate further. Hutchison Whampoa, which owns rival Three, is said to be in talks to buy O2.

There has been speculation that Virgin may tie up with Vodafone.

And Sky has also announced the launch of its own mobile service, through a deal with O2’s network.

Dan Ridsdale, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said: “In the space of a few months, the UK telecoms landscape has changed enormously. As the majors fill in the gaps in their offerings, competition to offer multi-play bundles is going to step up significantly.

“Whether this will be beneficial for consumers is a very different question. The bundling of services makes it much more difficult to compare pricing, while more premium TV content is likely to move away from free to air.”

The BT-EE deal is expected to be finalised by March next year, subject to approval by shareholders of BT and scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Source: BBC News

Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa in Talks for British Mobile Firm O2

Hutchison Whampoa, one of the flagship companies of the Hong Kong dbpix-phone-o2-blog480billionaire Li Ka-shing, said on Friday it has agreed to enter exclusive talks to buy O2, the British cellphone carrier owned by the Spanish telecom giant Telefónica, in a deal worth roughly $15 billion.

The deal between Three, Hutchison Whampoa’s British cellphone business, and O2 would be the latest in a transformation of Europe’s telecom sector, as traditional carriers and cable operators jockey for position across the European Union.

The region’s telecom companies are looking to combine their fixed-line, mobile and cable operations to offer customers so-called bundled deals as people increasingly use their mobile devices to stream online content.

The companies also want to take advantage of coming regulatory changes that are expected to allow greater consolidation of European telecom businesses.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, Hutchison would pay 9.25 billion pounds, or $14 billion, in cash for O2. A further payment of up to 1 billion pounds would be made at a later date, depending on the performance of the combined businesses of Three and O2.

The exclusive talks between Three and O2, however, do not guarantee that a deal will be completed.

“Such negotiations may or may not result in any transaction,” Hutchison said in an announcement on Friday to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The deal would also be subject to achieving shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The potential deal follows the announcement last month by BT, Britain’s former telecom monopoly, that it was in discussions to buy EE, the British mobile phone business of Orange of France and Deutsche Telekom of Germany, for about $19 billion. BT also had held discussions with O2 about a potential sale, but opted eventually for EE.

An O2-Three deal would create Britain’s largest carrier based on the number of subscribers and would make EE No. 2 and Vodafone No. 3.

Telefónica has been looking at options for its British business, as many of its rivals, including Vodafone and the pan-European cable provider Liberty Global, have aggressively expanded their offerings.

That includes mobile competitors moving into the broadband and pay-TV markets to attract customers and cable companies adding cellphone deals to their Internet packages.

Telefónica also has been selling unwanted assets to reduce its $51 billion of net debt, one of the highest of any European listed company. It has made a number of multibillion-dollar acquisitions in the last 18 months as it tries to increase its presence in the German and Brazilian markets.

A deal between Three and O2 would reduce the number of primary mobile operators in Britain to three networks. The country’s competition authorities have previously stated that they would prefer to have at least four carriers, so any deal would probably lead to regulatory scrutiny over how it could affect consumer choice.

Analysts have cautioned that the combination of Three and O2 may raise prices for British consumers. The companies also may have to give up some of their mobile spectrum — the government-mandated radio waves that carry phone calls and wireless data — to smaller rivals to increase domestic competition.

“This combination could materially improve the U.K. market structure,” analysts at Macquarie Group said in a research note to investors before the prospective deal was announced. “We believe this proposal is rational, if challenging to execute.”

The prospective deal also exemplifies Hutchison Whampoa’s push into Europe’s telecom market. In 2012, the Asian conglomerate acquired the European telecom company Orange Austria for roughly $1.7 billion. It bought O2 Ireland from Telefónica in 2013 for about $1 billion.

For Mr. Li, a savvy asset trader who has long ranked as Asia’s richest man, the deal would mark the latest example of him buying in Europe and selling in Asia, even as he is seeking to restructure his corporate empire.

On Tuesday, Hutchison teamed up with Mr. Li’s flagship holding company, Cheung Kong, in a bid to acquire Eversholt Rail Group. Mr. Li’s companies will pay 2.5 billion pounds, or $3.8 billion, including the assumption of debt, to buy the company, a major passenger train provider in Britain, from the private equity firm 3i Infrastructure and other investors.

Earlier this month, Cheung Kong and Hutchison announced a sweeping reorganization that would simplify Mr. Li’s ownership of both firms, creating one company for property assets and another for all of his other businesses, which include ports, energy and utility businesses in Britain, Continental Europe and Australia, and a retail chain of thousands of health and beauty shops and supermarkets across Asia.

Hutchison already draws more revenue from Europe than any other region, but Mr. Li, 86, has come under criticism in Hong Kong and mainland China for a series of deals that have seen him increasing his investments in Europe and selling or spinning out assets in Asia.

On Jan. 14, an editorial in the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, said younger entrepreneurs from mainland China might make better role models than Mr. Li, who it said “may not be suitable as a bellwether for the future.”

“Li’s investment is a drop in the ocean compared to the huge size of the Chinese economy,” the paper wrote.