Tag Archives: EE

EE and BT Showcase ‘Pre-standard 5G’ to Connect Air Mast

ee 5g

  • EE first UK mobile operator to showcase ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul capability, using its patent pending 4G air mast
  • 26GHz test spectrum used to carry traffic from 4G air mast as part of Adastral Park Innovation Week event
  • ‘Pre-standard 5G’ backhaul solution increases 4G speeds and lowers latency

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator and part of the BT Group, has become the first UK provider to successfully demonstrate pre-standard 5G backhaul technology, using it to connect its unique Helikite ‘air mast’ mobile coverage solution.

EE’s patent-pending Helikite solution uses mini mobile sites attached to a helium balloon to provide 4G mobile coverage where permanent sites have been damaged by extreme weather and other disasters, or in areas where there is no 4G coverage. The addition of pre-5G backhaul increases 4G speeds and lowers latency, which increases the number of people that the air mast could keep connected, and gives them a faster internet connection.

Marc Allera, EE CEO, said: “Innovation is what drives advances in technology, and it’s what keeps making UK consumers’ experience of mobile better and better. The EE network will go from strength to strength thanks to BT’s incredible R&D capabilities and our commitment to delivering what our customers need. Today’s demonstration is a great example of that: we know that we need better solutions to keep customers connected in the most rural parts of the UK and during disasters, and we can make that solution even more powerful by developing ground breaking pre-standard 5G technology.

“This is not 5G, but it is a technology that’s an important stepping stone to 5G. We’re working hard to adopt the principles and the technologies that will become 5G, and to showcase what benefits these can bring to our customers.”

Today’s demonstration is an example of the potential applications and customer benefits of BT and EE’s 5G research activities which are being progressed well ahead of the deployment of future 5G networks.

The ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul technology – demonstrated for the first time today at BT’s Innovation Week at its labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich – uses millimetre wave (mmWave) frequencies, regarded as one of the main building blocks of future 5G technology.

By applying the technology to deliver the mobile backhaul requirements for EE’s recently announced 4G Helikite solution, EE and the BT Labs have proven the potential for delivering even faster 4G speeds and lower latency using mmWave.

The innovative mobile backhaul solution demonstration uses 26GHz test spectrum to connect the Parallel Wireless small cell on the Helikite to an Athonet virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) on the ground using a PHAZR link.

EE and BT Labs are taking a leading role in developing technologies that will play a role in delivering future 5G mobile networks, including mmWave, Massive MIMO and network slicing – a new method of carving out specific ‘slices’ of an IP based network to support dedicated services delivered over future 5G networks. EE and BT are working towards enabling 5G in alignment with standards that will be set by mobile standardisation body 3GPP as part of their Release 15 update, which is scheduled for 2018.

Source: EE

EE TARGETS INTERNET OF THINGS WITH EE CONNECT, THE UK’S FIRST 4G-CAPABLE DEDICATED M2M PLATFORM

  • EE launches EE Connect, the UK’s first 4G-capable dedicated Machine to Machine (M2M) service, driving the future of the internet of things, from smart businesses to driverless cars
  • Over 4 million connected machines on EE’s network forecast by 2017
  • EE Connect platform offers dedicated M2M customer service, remote monitoring, automation and reporting for efficient business operations
  • EE Connect provides businesses and public sector organisations with the highest levels of flexibility, service and scalability – making developing and deploying connected technologies easier and more manageable

EE today launched EE connect, the UK’s first 4G-capable dedicated Machine to Machine (M2M) service. EE Connect provides the foundation for businesses and public sector organisations to develop the connected products and services of the future on the UK’s best 4G, 3G and 2G network.

EE Connect offers M2M customers real time monitoring of all devices, automation to easily set and edit business rules remotely, and granular reporting for more informed decision making. A dedicated M2M service team is also in place to support all M2M customers with expert assistance.

From smart cities and businesses, to smart watches and wearables, analysts estimate that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices by 2020. EE Connect has been developed to provide the platform to ensure that UK businesses are a major part of this booming new ecosystem.

There are currently more than two million machines communicating to each other over the EE 2G and 3G network, and EE predicts that will double to more than four million by 2017. The ability to utilise 4G will make all M2M communications more efficient, and support new scenarios that require higher bandwidth, such as remote video distribution, in-car diagnostics and entertainment, and scenarios where low latency is critical, like driverless cars and future healthcare applications.

Mike van Bunnens, Managing Director at Comms365 Limited, an EE M2M partner said:

“Our business requires the best possible M2M service and support. EE has been a strong and dependable partner as we’ve grown, and we’ve developed new advanced connected products and services such as our Fixed IP SIMs and Fibre Failover solutions on EE’s network. EE Connect provides us with even more flexibility, giving us the ability to offer granular level support to our customers and faster, tailored M2M solutions.

“The strength of EE’s 4G network and EE Connect are helping us to enhance our capabilities including our popular Continuum bonded services for rapidly deployed, mission critical internet access and corporate network connectivity, ensuring that we’re able to meet customer expectations the first time, every time.”

Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, EE Business said:

“Every day, the strength and reliability of our 4G network allows businesses to develop innovative connected products and services that improve our lives – whether it’s telematics in cars that help improve driving and road safety, healthcare applications that drastically cut testing and diagnosis times, or connected infrastructure that creates smarter and more efficient public services. EE Connect provides the best M2M management capabilities, on the best network, with the best service through a dedicated support team, which together is helping businesses create the connected technologies of tomorrow.”

Customers will be able to monitor and manage connected devices remotely via the EE Control Centre, providing visibility and flexibility that allows them to save time, money and make more informed business decisions. The EE Control Centre allows customers to remotely diagnose and repair issues with connected machines in the field as well as an ability to set up powerful automation rules to increase efficiency,  resilience and manageability.

The new 4G-capable M2M service is supported by EE’s commitment to invest £1.5bn in its network over the next three years, with a particular focus on rural parts of the UK. In order to further support the inevitable growth of the Internet of Things, EE’s 4G network will reach 90% of the UK geography by the end of 2017, with high capacity 4G+ enabled in 20 of the busiest UK cities.

EE Connect is available to all EE business and public sector customers from today, and EE Connect trial packs are available for free by registering at http://ee.co.uk/business/large/m2m-with-ee

EE to unveil a host of updated features for EE TV

EE-log-Nov-2014

NEW FEATURES OFFER EE TV USERS THE ULTIMATE PERSONALISED TV EXPERIENCE

NEW FEATURES OFFER EE TV USERS THE ULTIMATE PERSONALISED TV EXPERIENCE

 

  • EE Updated features help customers find, record and watch their favourite content more easily than ever
  • New app features, including Companion Screen and social sharing, reaffirm EE TV as the UK’s only mobile-first TV service
  • New ‘Fetch’ feature allows users to take their TV viewing with them around the home
  • ‘MUBI’ as well as a host of international channels to be added to EE TV’s content offering

EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today unveiled a host of updated features for EE TV due to launch on the 25th August for new and existing customers. Focused on personalisation and social sharing, the new additions have been developed with mobile front of mind. Building on EE TV’s original features, the latest software update allows users to create a truly personalised TV experience controlled through their phone or tablet.

My TV

The all new ‘My TV’ section is a new feature available via the app’s Home menu. The service is designed to provide a completely personalised TV experience for each individual user and is divided into three sections: My Programmes, My Channels and My Photos & Videos.

The first two sections allow each user to select their favourite TV shows or channels, and quickly identify exactly what content is available for them to enjoy there and then. In addition to live programming, the feature will also give instant access to any recordings of the user’s favourites, collating all relevant programmes in one convenient place. With another press of a button this content can quickly be sorted by watched/unwatched, channel, alphabetical, date and category – so it’s never been easier to find and enjoy all your favourite shows.

With My Photos & Videos, customers can view all content stored on their device via the EE TV app. They can then use EE TV’s innovative Flick feature to send it straight to their TV – perfect for sharing photos and videos with friends and family on bigger screen.

Fetch

One of the most popular features among EE TV fans is the innovative Flick function, which allows users to send content from their mobile device to their TV with a single swipe of a finger. Building on the Flick feature, the latest update also includes Fetch, allowing customers to bring content from the main TV screen directly onto their mobile device. Compatible with live TV, recordings, Restart and Replay, the new feature is perfect if customers want to leave the room and continue watching their show in another part of the house, without disturbing what’s on the TV screen.

Companion Screen and Share

A new Companion Screen, available via the EE TV app, gives customers total control of the show that they’re watching, as well as providing a variety of additional information. The second screen experience is available for all content – other than apps and on-demand – and includes playback and volume controls, as well as a scrolling progress bar. The Companion Screen also makes it more convenient to record the programmes that are currently on screen, as well as other shows in the series.

For the first time, the EE TV app also includes a Share button via the Companion Screen. [Available for all live, recorded, Replay and Restart content,] the new feature allows users to share details of what they’re watching through a range of social media options. Once selected, a pop-up will be presented, along with a predefined and editable message that automatically includes a reference to the show on screen, which can then be shared on all popular social media platforms.

Improved search and navigation

The latest update also includes significant improvements to navigation on mobile devices, as well as delivering powerful search capability on both the set top box and the app. It’s now easier to find specific programmes across a range of live, future and recorded content, with results collated in one place and easily arranged.

Great New Channels

EE TV will also be offering new content applications in September to complement its existing mix of live and recorded Free Channels, On Demand and Catch Up services. The move forms part of EE’s commitment to continue evolving EE TV with new features and content over time.

These include MUBI, which offers cult, classic, and award-winning films from around the world for just £4.99 a month – including Superbad, The September Issue, Half Nelson, Moon and Lost in Translation, which will be available to watch from September onwards for 30 days. Plus EE TV customers can try MUBI for 1 month for free.

EE TV customers will also soon be able to access a huge range of international and foreign language TV apps (many of which are free!) including; France 24, Cinefun TV, Brazil TV and CaribBe TV. Featuring over 100 channels from over 20 international regions including; France, Middle East, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Caribbean and loads more.

Simeon Bird, Director of Home Broadband & TV, EE said: “EE TV received outstanding reviews at launch, however we will continue to use our unrivalled knowledge of mobile behaviour in order to update and enhance the service over time. The new EE TV features take the personalisation capability that all smartphone and tablet owners are familiar with, and incorporates it to create what we believe is the best multi-screen TV service available today.”

For more information including full terms and conditions for EE TV, please visit www.ee.co.uk/eetv.

Source: EE

 

 

 

Ofcom boosts BT’s EE takeover bid; sees Hutch/O2 deal as potential stumbling block

BT-logo

BT’s proposed £12.5 billion takeover of EE received a boost from UK watchdog Ofcom after the regulator submitted a report to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) supporting the merger.
Ofcom, which does not have direct authority to approve the deal, advised the competition authority that concerns raised by rivals over the combined entities’ power did not merit intervention.

Within the 69 page submission, Ofcom further highlighted its own powers to deal with BT’s EE-log-Nov-2014potential dominance, as it seeks to combine its broadband business with EE, UK’s largest mobile player.

“We believe the current and future proposed regulation that we apply to BT will limit BT’s ability to discriminate over price, quality and innovation in the provision of leased lines,” Ofcom said.

Mobile rivals in the UK have claimed they will struggle to meet capacity demands as a result of the deal, and there are further fears over the large share of mobile airwaves a combined BT and EE will have at their disposal.

Ofcom dismissed the concerns, stating “that even though the addition of BT’s spectrum may increase the peak speeds BT/EE could offer, on its own EE is already able to provide higher peak speeds than other MNOs”.

“For potential advantages in terms of WiFi hotspots, access to backhaul and opportunities for cross selling and bundling, we do not consider these are sufficient to create competition concerns.”

In the fixed space, rivals including Sky and TalkTalk claim the combined entity would be able to undercut its services, limit the market’s MVNO options and impact backhaul supply.

“We recognise that, as a vertically integrated firm, BT may have the incentive to discriminate in favour of its downstream divisions, and we impose regulation to address such concerns,” added Ofcom.

Ofcom said last month it was seeking views on whether BT and its Openreach networking division should be separated “to deliver competition or wider benefits to the end user”.

Hutch/O2
Ofcom also drew on Hutchison’s proposed merger with O2 within the report, which could prove to be a stumbling block

The proposed deal is set to be scrutinised by European regulators and Ofcom said “the importance of BT as an independent competitor could depend on the outcome of the proposed Hutchison, O2 merger”.

If Hutchison’s deal to acquire O2 goes through, It would serve to reduce the UK market to three players, adding weight to the argument to keep EE and BT separate, as BT already operates in the mobile space.

Source: Mobile Word Live-Kavit Majithia

Glastonbury Revellers download eight terabytes of data via EE’s 4G network

The 4GEE Charging Bull
  • Revellers downloaded a whopping eight terabytes worth of data via EE’s powerful 4G network at Glastonbury Festival – the equivalent of more than two million Lionel Richie songs
  • Uploads from Worthy Farm more than doubled this year, with the data equivalent of three million images uploaded on social networks in 2015
  • EE’s official Glastonbury app saw over three million launches as revellers logged on to check set times, create their personal line ups, drop location pins and listen to Deezer clips of the weekend’s artists
  • The EE Power Bar swapping service was a huge success – average queuing time was kept to two minutes per swap all weekend meaning people had more time to catch all the performances and non-stop entertainment at Glastonbury

Glastonbury Festival’s official technology and communications partner EE pulled out all the stops to ensure they delivered the most connected festival experience yet.

 

EE’s 4G Network

The world’s largest temporary 4G network, built for Glastonbury by the EE Special Projects team, was put through its paces for the week. With more 4G users than ever before, last year’s data total was smashed by Thursday night – before the main stages had even opened.

In total, festival-goers downloaded a total of eight terabytes of data on 4G in 2015, equivalent to more than two million downloads of Lionel Richie’s Hello. Customers also uploaded three terabytes of 4G data – around four million envy-inducing posts to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds from the Festival.

Phone calls were more reliable than ever before at Glastonbury, with 97.55% of calls going through.

 

EE’s Official Glastonbury 2015 App

The official Glastonbury 2015 app, developed in partnership with EE saw over three million launches over the weekend as revellers logged on to check on the latest Festival news, find where they were, stay connected with their friends on site, check set times and live stream the BBC’s coverage.

·         Over 50,000 festival goers connected to Facebook to share their chosen line up with their friends

·         2.6 million acts were favourited as those on site used the app to plan their personal festival line up, with Florence and The Machine, Lionel Richie and George Ezra proving most popular

·         Over 32,000 users dropped pins over the weekend in a bid not to lose their tent, car or friends

·         Over 475,000 Deezer clips of Festival artists were played over the weekend through the app, with Alabama Shakes, The Who and James Bay taking the top spots

 

Top 10 favourited acts at Glastonbury 2015:

1.    Florence and the Machine

2.    Lionel Richie

3.    George Ezra

4.    The Who

5.    Kanye West

6.    Pharrell Williams

7.    Hozier

8.    Alt-J

9.    The Chemical Brothers

10.  Ben Howard

 

Top 10 Deezer clips via the official Glastonbury 2015 app:

1.    Alabama Shakes

2.    The Who

3.    James Bay

4.    Catfish and the Bottlemen

5.    Rudimental

6.    Kanye West

7.    Alt-J

8.    Mary J. Blige

9.    The Vaccines

10.  The Chemical Brothers

 

EE Power Bar Exchange

EE also kept festival goers connected with two Power Bar Exchange points on site this year, which met the digital demands of this year’s festival goers by offering Power Bar swaps. The EE Power Bar – an easy-to-use portable phone charger and queue-busting alternative to traditional charging – enabled users to charge their phone on the go with the bar and then, once it ran out of juice, simply swap it for a fully charged one at the designated Exchange sites. Average queuing time at the Exchange sites was kept at 2 minutes per swap which meant revelers had more time to enjoy the music and entertainment on offer at the festival.

For more information on EE’s partnership with the Glastonbury Festival, please visitee.co.uk/Glastonbury.

Source: EE

Docomo, EE and Nokia stress role of LTE on path to 5G

Nokia, EE and NTT Docomo see 5G as an evolution of 4G, with many of the proposed technology changes able to be deployed alongside existing technology implementations.

Speaking at an event in London yesterday, Phil Twist, VP of networks marketing at Nokia, noted that while work on new 5G radio technology is underway, “there are as many changes that go on inside the network as there are in the new radio interface that will become 5G”.

“Actually, if 5G is in its research stage now in terms of radio, it is well beyond the research phase in terms of the network architecture and how you would need to build networks. It does build quite a different network architecture to the ones that are in service today. Because we can see this, because we know what we need to do with this, we can start working towards this type of architecture now,” he continued.

This sentiment was echoed by Mansoor Hanif, director of radio access networks for UK LTE pioneer EE. “We can and will apply many, if not all, of the 5G innovations over 4G. We will only do it when it makes sense for our customers. I think that 99 per cent of the things you see are doable over 4G. Which ones it makes sense for our customers to bring forward, that’s the key question.”

And while NTT Docomo has established a technology leadership position through its early introduction of new technologies, Sadayuki Abeta, director of the radio access network docomodevelopment department for the Japanese operator, also noted that there are advantages to considering 5G development alongside 4G.

“Of course, we need to reduce the cost for 5G. Maybe at the beginning, we do the interworking with 4G, we have already nationwide coverage for 4G, and where we have some hotspot areas, or event areas, we can use 5G. We don’t need to deploy 5G nationwide at the beginning, we can introduce it when we want,” he said.

EE’s Hanif said that the operator’s motivation for its network evolution is to win a “global race”, but that it’s “not between us and Docomo, or us and SK Telecom”.

“There’s a global race between customer expectation and customer experience. Why is that so difficult? It’s not because we are bad at what we do, but because customer expectation is constantly rising, it keeps moving,” he said.

“What will solve that puzzle of getting ahead of customer expectation? Will it be 5G? Will it be 4G? I don’t really care, what I’m really keen on, here in the UK at least, is that we get there as soon as possible,” the executive continued.

Radio evolution
With 5G radio evolution being where much of the heavy lifting still needs to be done, Docomo’s Abeta noted that in terms of requirements for the new technology, much of the demand is an evolution of what has gone before.

“Some requirements already exist every time we upgrade, for example higher data rates, lower costs, higher spectrum efficiency. With 4G, we added lower latency. Those traditional requirements, of course, we need to improve, so we set higher requirements for 5G. But with 5G, we have new requirements,” he said.

These new needs, he continued, are related to the need to support new use cases resulting from the internet of things, which will see a massive number of devices connected to the network, with different needs in terms of latency, bandwidth and power.

But as yet, it is not clear what spectrum will be available for 5G networks. Docomo is already working on trials with multiple vendors, part of which is “trying to understand the characteristics of each band,” Abeta said.

Docomo is working with Nokia on millimetre wave pilots, using frequencies in the 70GHz band. Nokia’s Twist said: “One of the things we are looking at particularly with centimetre wave and millimetre wave, one of the reasons for going there, is because there are broad swathes of spectrum at that frequency which is not being used for other things.”

Small cells
For the UK market, EE’s Hanif said that in terms of radio technology, the first home is likely to be small cells – with the reason being somewhat prosaic.

“It’s hugely expensive to do macrocell upgrades. That will influence the way we approach 5G, because the last thing I want to do is go and swap out more antennas, speak to all the landlords, renegotiate the rights again – the kind of thing you normally do every 15 to 20 years,” he said.

“The timing is such in the UK that all the big operators are right now going through this massively difficult, painful and expensive upgrade programme. I can’t see us having the appetite to go and swap those antennas out again anytime soon,” the executive continued.

Mobile Edge Computing

EE’s Hanif EE-log-Nov-2014 was vocal in his support for Mobile Edge Computing, where computing capabilities are pushed closer to the radio access network (and, in turn, closer to subscribers), enabling low-latency and high-bandwidth access to content, applications and services.

“You’re putting the computing power and the value right where the customer needs it the most,” he said.

But as yet EE’s engagement with Mobile Edge Computing has been limited because “not all of our network is Nokia” – the vendor was an early proponent of the technology through its Liquid Applications portfolio.

“Is this going to work across our whole network? We don’t want to discriminate against our customers based on which base station they are under,” he said.

The technology has now picked-up wider industry support, with vendors such as IBM, Intel and Huawei joining Nokia, and NTT Docomo and Vodafone among the members of ETSI’s mobile edge computing working group.

Source: Steve Costello. Mobile World Live

EE ramps up LTE Broadcast efforts


EE Trials 4G Broadcast for FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE

UK operator EE is gearing up to push its LTE Broadcast service live next year after a successful trial at Wembley Stadium last weekend, predicting that by 2019 the technology will be the sole driver of live TV content delivered over its network.

Following a trial at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, EE demoed LTE Broadcast services to a small group of selected users (approximately 20 tablet devices) at the FA Cup Final two days ago.

Viewers were able to select multiple camera angles, access real-time match statistics and watch HD-quality replays of the action (on-demand) within a minute of events happening on the pitch. The trial was the latest tech development by EE at Wembley Stadium, which it has dubbed “the mothership” of its national 4G network.

EE is keeping its cards close to its chest in terms of specific timeframes for next steps, but a statement from the operator says it “intends to build the 4G Broadcast capability into its network in 2016.”

LTE-Broadcast is being pitched by operators such as EE, Telstra and Verizon Wireless as a cost-effective way to provide TV and video content in crowded areas that would normally suffer problems with pixellation or buffering due to network congestion. Unlike traditional unicast mobile streaming, which sends content from the network to each individual user as they demand it, LTE Broadcast (also known as eMBMS) makes the same live video content available to everyone in the same location, connecting any number of people all at the same time.

US operator Verizon Wireless has commercially launched the technology via a partnership with motor racing series Indycar, and EE says it is preparing for its own commercial deployment. “The next time we do something it will be a live deployment that will stay and then we can move on to light up the next area,” Matt Stagg, head of video at EE, told Mobile World Live. “Anywhere we light up next year for event or capacity reasons will stay.”

ee4Stagg noted that its LTE Broadcast services won’t be restricted to stadia, instead offering a cost-effective way to support video delivery in any high traffic area.

Of course, as with any new technology, there are major challenges to overcome. There are only a handful of devices currently available that support LTE-Broadcast technology, as well as issues around content rights. And there’s a big question mark over the business model behind the service; after all, watching a 90-minute football match will consume a huge amount of data that has to be paid for in some way.

“The technology is great as underlined by the numerous successful trials but the lack of actual commercial deployments demonstrates the uncertainty around the business model,” commented CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore. “There is no doubt that LTE Broadcast will be a useful tool in overcoming network congestion and coping with the explosion in video traffic. It provides sports fans with a great second screen experience, but it is unclear whether they will pay for it; it’s too early to say. As a result, operators are probably unwilling to invest millions in upgrading their networks. The most likely scenario would be joint investment with a venue owner or content owner to share the financial risk which reinforces the clear use case that is emerging.”

EE’s Stagg is, unsurprisingly, upbeat, claiming his company’s progress so far is evidence that this form of mobile TV distribution – unlike previous ill-fated technologies such as DVB-H and MediaFlo – will succeed.

“Once we move through 2017 and we get organic growth… then we will start to do the other things eMBMS is good for – things like pushing software updates for mass downloads for the internet of things. By 2019 on our network there will be no live or linear tv that isn’t [LTE] Broadcast.”

Source: Justin Springham. Mobile World Live

EE announces World’s biggest festival phone charging service for Glastonbury 2015

Glastonbury 2015 - featuring EE Power Bar
Glastonbury 2015 – featuring EE Power Bar
  • EE celebrates third year as official technology partner for Glastonbury Festival
  • Festival goers to benefit from largest festival phone charging service – more than 200,000 EE Power Bar swaps expected alongside traditional charging
  • Mobile 4G network to be installed at Worthy Farm to offer superfast connectivity
  • Official Glastonbury App upgraded with new features as part of partnership
  • Also announced today – exclusive PAYG offer includes the chance to win tickets to Glastonbury

EE, the UK’s biggest and most advanced digital communications company, announces its third year as the official technology and communications partner to Glastonbury Festival with the world’s largest festival mobile phone charging operation, featuring the EE Power Bar.

EE will be keeping festival-goers connected with two Power Bar Exchange points on site this year, able to accommodate over 200,000 Power Bar swaps during the festival weekend.

The EE Power Bar – an easy-to-use portable phone charger – was launched at Glastonbury last year as a queue-busting alternative to traditional charging. Users can charge their phone on the go with the bar and then, once it runs out of juice, simply swap it for a fully charged one at the designated Exchange sites.

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, said: “Our Power Bar phone charging initiative began at Glastonbury in 2014 and proved so popular that we launched it last month as a year-round loyalty scheme for all customers.  We received over a million requests in just four days, so to say there is huge demand for this simple charging solution is an understatement, and at festivals the need for a fully-charged phone is even greater.

“Last year, we know customers uploaded the equivalent of 1.5 million pictures during the festival and downloaded 2.5 terabytes of data, which is the same as 650,000 headlining tracks. To meet this demand we are rolling out the EE Power Bar swap scheme on an unprecedented scale. For us, this is just the next step in making the UK’s best-loved festival even better connected.”

This year, anyone wishing to take advantage of the swapping system on-site must have an official 2015 EE Power Bar and will need to register for a special wristband by the 7th June.  The wristband allows each user one swap per day. EE Power Bars are available (subject to stock availability) at no charge* to all EE, Orange or T-Mobile customers, non-EE customers can pay £20 to take part in the swapping scheme. All Glastonbury-goers will be contacted directly on May 26th to confirm the details of this process.

Traditional charging in the EE Recharge tent – which is free to all – will also be available on site from EE ensuring as many festival-goers as possible can stay powered up.

Back for the third year running, across the whole Worthy Farm site, will be EE’s award-winning superfast 4G network, enabling guests at the festival to upload pictures and videos in record time. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds will be inundated with action live throughout the sold out event.  EE’s on site network infrastructure – which features six mobile masts – is expected to carry over three terabytes of data across the weekend.

EE is also working alongside Glastonbury Festival to update the official Glastonbury app with a new look and exciting new features for 2015. The upgraded app will be available in June and allow those on site to stay better connected with friends than ever before. The app is the ultimate Glastonbury companion: last year it was accessed over 3million times with a total of nearly nine years’ of combined usage.

As well as offering unrivalled connectivity and EE Power on an epic scale, EE is celebrating the beginning of festival season by introducing a brand new PAYG offer**.  Available to  everyone the offer is designed to help EE customers get the most from the upcoming festival season. Anyone who orders the limited edition SIM by midnight on Sunday 31st May will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win one of two pairs of Glastonbury tickets with no obligation to top up.  Those users who choose to top up for just £10 can also enjoy 100GB of free data per month (for two months) on top of the regular bundle. To take advantage of this promotion, customers simply need to order a £10 Data Pack limited edition SIM from EE – PAYG SIMs can be ordered from EE shops, telesales or via www.ee.co.uk.

For the latest news and updates go to EE.co.uk/Glastonbury.

Source: EE

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

Consolidation

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

Consumers and businesses set to benefit from guaranteed £5b investment into UK’s mobile infrastructure

base stnCulture Secretary Sajid Javid today (Thursday) announces a landmark deal with the four mobile networks to improve mobile coverage across the UK.

As part of its long-term economic plan, the Government has secured a binding agreement with the mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to tackle poor signal issues in so-called ‘partial not-spots’.

These are areas within the UK that have coverage from some but not all of the four mobile networks. Depending on the network consumers are on, they may have no coverage in these areas.

Under the agreement all four of the mobile networks have collectively agreed to:

  • a guaranteed £5bn investment programme to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017;
  • guaranteed voice and text coverage from each operator across 90 per cent of the UK geographic area by 2017, halving the areas currently blighted by patchy coverage as a result of partial ‘not-spots’;
  • full coverage from all four mobile operators will increase from 69 per cent to 85 per cent of geographic areas by 2017;
  • provide reliable signal strength for voice for each type of mobile service (whether 2G/3G/4G) – currently many consumers frequently lose signal or cannot get signal long enough to make a call; and
  • make the deal legally binding by accepting amended licence conditions to reflect the agreement – it will be enforceable by Ofcom.

No cash payments will be made by Government to the mobile networks as part of this agreement.

This deal will also result in cutting total ‘not-spots’ where there is currently no mobile coverage by two-thirds. This will support the Government’s existing £150m programme to take mobile coverage to the areas of the UK that have no coverage at all.

As a result of the agreement, many areas will receive better data coverage, some for the first time. During the recent consultation process, consumers made it very clear that they feel any solution should include better data coverage.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.

“Government and businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile connectivity, and improved coverage, so this legally binding agreement will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves. The £5bn investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan.”

Whilst discussions with the mobile operators on a voluntary solution continued, the Government consulted on various legislative options in November 2014 to ensure that the issue of poor mobile coverage was addressed. This voluntary binding agreement secures a better deal for consumers and businesses as it:

  • will halve partial not-spots and reduce complete not-spots by almost two-thirds;
  • guarantees £5bn investment by mobile networks in the UK’s mobile infrastructure – potentially creating jobs and a boost for the UK economy; and
  • provides some of the best coverage of any major European country – underpinning the Government’s long-term economic plan.

As part of the agreement, the Government:

  • will bring this agreement to the attention of Ofcom in the context of their work to revise Annual Licence Fees – this is the subscription fee mobile networks pay Government;
  • intends to reform the out-dated and ineffective Electronic Communications Code to make it easier for the whole communications sector to rollout out new mobile and broadband services, and increase choice for consumers; and
  • is allowing many of the Government’s freehold buildings to be used as sites for mobile infrastructure – potentially opening up hundreds of sites to boost mobile coverage, including areas where is has been previously difficult to rollout network coverage.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:

“EE is focused on bringing the best voice and data service to its customers across the UK, and only last week announced 1,500 unconnected villages will soon benefit from EE coverage. This agreement ensures that our customers are able to stay connected in even more places up and down the country.”

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer of O2, said:

“A partnership between government and the mobile operators is required to maximise coverage across the UK, so this agreement is a good outcome for our customers. It will support investment in our network, while ensuring that strong competition remains between the different networks.”

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three, said:

“We’ve doubled the size of our network in the past five years and we continue to invest to maintain a great network experience for our customers. Today’s agreement reflects the strength of our network today, our plans for the future and our commitment to bring its benefits to more people and more places than ever before.”

A Vodafone UK spokesperson said:

“We support the Government’s objective of delivering better coverage to rural areas including partial not spots. This is why Vodafone is already spending £1 billion on our network and services in the UK this year alone and will continue to spend a similar amount next year as well.

“The voluntary industry commitment we have agreed with the Government today will deliver 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass with voice services and a major improvement in mobile internet coverage as well. It is a great result for UK consumers and businesses and it will make the UK a leader across Europe in terms of the reach of mobile coverage.”

Mobile networks will now take forward their plans to improve mobile coverage and Ofcom will monitor progress regularly. The Secretary of State expects the operators to meet an interim goal in 2016, and will be receiving updates on this.