Tag Archives: Olaf Swantee

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

EE unveils plans to increase 4G accessibility and transform the user experience as 4G overtakes 3G

  • EE reaches tipping point as 4G contract sales outstrip 3G, and 3.6m customers sign up to superfast internet on the move
  • Completes second phase of rural roll out bringing 4G to 2,588 villages and small towns, and doubles footprint of unique double speed network
  • Evolves 4G access with market-leading 4G WiFi plans and introduces own-brand 4G WiFi device range – including the UK’s first 4G in-car WiFi
  • EE founding member of the Mobile Video Alliance, enabling content owners to provide first class mobile video and TV experience

EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today unveiled the next phase of its world class 4G service, including rapid network expansion and the launch of new 4G plans and devices. The company will dramatically improve accessibility of superfast mobile internet across the UK, and set a new benchmark for the 4G user experience.

The move comes as EE 4G customer numbers hit 3.6 million and sales of EE 4G plans outstrip 3G for the first time, representing a tipping point for the business. 4G is rapidly changing mobile behaviour, with customers increasing their data usage by 66% in a year – watching more television and video, working, banking and shopping on the go.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “With more experience of 4G than any other UK operator, we have unique insight into how the technology is changing behaviour. Our mobile devices have effectively become mini TVs with video traffic already making up over half the data on our 4G network.

“We’re committed to remaining one step ahead – adapting our network to make 4G available where it matters most, with a focus on more rural areas, transport links and offering our customers the best network experience and great value, innovative devices and plans.”

RAPID NETWORK EXPANSION

EE is accelerating network rollout in rural areas and on transport routes, as well doubling the footprint of its unique double speed network, meeting the growing demand for consistently fast speeds across the busiest areas of the UK.

1.  Rural revolution: EE completes second phase of rural roll out
EE is bringing the UK’s fastest network to 2,588 villages and small towns with populations under 10,000, including many rural areas. From Silverburn in Scotland with less than 65 people, to Aberdulais in South Wales with 500, more than three million people in rural areas now have access to a mobile network to rival the UK’s largest cities.

Businesses and residents in many of those rural areas of the UK will now have access to high speed internet in the home or office for the first time, with 4G speeds often faster than the fixed line connection they previously depended on.

2.  4G in the fast lane
In addition to residential zones, EE is focusing on areas of high usage, including airports, roads, and train lines and stations. 47 major train stations and 22 of the busiest airports, from Bournemouth to Aberdeen, are now 4G-enabled, along with upwards of 50% 4G coverage on 50 of the busiest motorways and A-roads. Coverage of major roads in more built up areas, such as the M25 and M62 is greater than 80%.

The ongoing investment forms part of EE’s plan to offer a superfast digital network in the places customers want it the most, recognising the increasing need for a reliable, high-speed data connection on the move to support in-car navigation and passenger data usage.

By enhancing the 4G network on the busiest roads in the UK, EE will allow business customers to remain productive on the move. A programme is in place to cover the busiest motorway service stations, completing the connected journey.

3.  Extending EE’s unique double speed 4G network
EE will double the footprint of its unique, high capacity network to 40 towns and cities by the end of the year, allowing millions more customers to enjoy the UK’s fastest speeds, and targeting the parts of the country where data usage is showing the quickest growth.

EE’s double speed network ensures that its customers are guaranteed the best mobile experience, whether that’s downloading large files, uploading images or streaming video.

REDEFINING THE 4G WiFi MARKET

From 28 May, EE is introducing a range of EE-branded 4G broadband devices and plans, designed to take advantage of EE’s double speed network. Available on pay as you go (PAYG) and consumer and business pay monthly plans, the devices include:

  • The UK’s first 4G car WiFi – the ‘Buzzard’ is the first in a series of superfast in-car devices available direct from EE. The simple and affordable plug-and-play device (only £49.99 on PAYG) will enable any car with a 12v connection to instantly become a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to 10 connections, and avoid the need for expensive in-built solutions. It also comes in a unique storage container designed to sit conveniently in a cup holder.
  • Superfast 4G for work and play – EE is introducing two new 4G WiFi devices optimised for EE’s double speed 4G network. For busy professionals a new sleek pocket-sized premium device called the ‘Kite’* (£69.99 on PAYG); and for a younger audience, the UK’s most affordable 4G WiFi unit – the colourful and rugged ‘Osprey’ (only £49.99 on PAYG).
  • The UK’s most affordable 4G tablet – with the ‘Eagle’, an Android tablet offering specifications and features traditionally associated with more expensive devices for just £199 on PAYG or £49.99 on 24 month pay monthly plans of £15 and above.

In support of the new devices, EE is also introducing the UK’s best value set of 4G WiFi plans. A new range of 24 and one month plans will be available, offering a variety of data allowances for unparalleled value and choice. New plans for small businesses will also be available.

The Buzzard, Kite and Osprey will be available on EE’s Shared plans, as well as the new 4G WiFi pay monthly plans, and are free on 24-month plans of £15-per-month and over.

THE BEST 4G EXPERIENCE

Video usage on the EE network has risen significantly in recent months, and early findings from EE’s latest Mobile Living Index* reveal that the video experience is now as important as making calls and web surfing for 4G customers. Video and TV are expected to increase data traffic 1100% in the next four years, and will be more than two thirds of data on the network by 2018.

To meet growing customer expectations, EE is putting the video experience at the heart of its network plans, ensuring content owners can give customers a reliable, high-quality, user experience.

On the 20th May, Minister Ed Vaizey announced the launch of the Mobile Video Alliance (MVA), founded by EE and run by the Digital TV Group (DTG), which represents the UK’s broadcast industry. The MVA connects broadcasters and content owners with mobile operators for the first time to create the best possible experience of mobile video apps. Broadcasters have mastered content delivery in the home, to the web, and now they’re focusing on the third axis – mobile platforms.

EE has also embarked on a programme for selected video and TV content owners, who desire an optimum user experience for their customers over EE’s 4G network. For example, work with the BBC iPlayer team has already seen significant improvements for their customers on the speed of programme load times.

Source: EE

EE details LTE-A plans

Olaf Swantee, CEO of the UK’s number-one operator EE, said the company plans to offer LTE-Advanced services in central London by the end of the summer.

In an exclusive interview with Mobile World Live, Swantee said the technology will enable theoretical peak speeds of 300Mb/s, and will later rollout everywhere within the M25 motorway.

“That effectively means that customers will see yet another jump in the speed of LTE,” Swantee noted.

Swantee also talked up EE’s progress with 4G. “We have great coverage now,” he said, noting that 45 million people in more than 170 cities can now access EE’s LTE network.

The operator now has more than two million subscribers using its 4GEE services.

“We are very pleased with the 4G success in the UK. There is an appetite for faster speeds and better networks,” Swantee said.

Now that the other UK mobile operators are offering 4G services (EE was the first to offer LTE in October 2012), Swantee said EE will compete by rolling coverage out more quickly than its rivals and “constantly differentiate through speeds”.

EE’s spectrum holding means it can offer single and double-speed LTE, with up to 30 per cent of commercial transactions using the faster service. “Customers recognise that when they use video or TV, it does make a difference.”

Along with the data speeds, EE’s CEO noted that voice remains a key element in an operator’s armoury and the company recently outlined a £279 million investment plan to upgrade EE’s oldest network equipment to improve voice services.

“I have learned 4G is the key anchor point of differentiation and network differentiation is possible, but network differentiation is not possible without looking at voice. Do not treat voice as a commodity,” Swantee said.

Turning to voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), Olaf said that this is only really important for operators who use very different spectrum for voice and 4G.

However, he noted that rural areas may benefit from the use of VoLTE in the future as EE looks to improve coverage in these areas using spectrum in the 800MHz band.

Source: Tim Ferguson Mobile World Live