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SAP eyes up BT's biz ahead of £550m EE integration

Software biz SAP is eyeing up BT's business following its acquisition of the firm's existing customer EE for £12.5bn last year, with the former state monopoly having already set aside £550m for integration costs. Speaking to The Register at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Stephen Gatien, global head of telecommunications …
Kat Hall, 2 Mar 2017
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BT, Ericsson square up to Arqiva, Samsung over 5G arms race

Hot on the heels of Arqiva revealing plans for a 5G trial with Samsung this morning, Ericsson and BT have also announced a partnership to develop 5G projects. Mobile phone and broadcasting towers biz Arqiva is best known for infrastructure broadcasting. Simon Beresford-Wylie, Arqiva chief exec, said the business has been " …
Kat Hall, 24 Feb 2017
Handshake

BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Rivals BT and Virgin Media have joined hands to collective moan that a forthcoming hike to business rates will result in tripling of their collective tax bill to £1.3bn over the next five years. The Valuation Office Agency‘s revaluation of business rates will come into force on 1 April 2017. But Virgin and BT complained the …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Openreach reshuffles top brass, brings in BT bods to make biz more independent of BT

Openreach has shipped in two BT bods to head regulation and strategy at the broadband provider, yet it still hopes to convince regulator Ofcom it can run Openreach as an independent entity. Openreach has appointed BT's group strategy head Richard Allwood as chief strategy officer, and Mark Shurmer, group director of Regulatory …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Cut off: Big government IT wallets snap shut on BT's fingers

BT, which until 1984 was part of the UK public sector, is losing its grip on the public purse. Spending with BT by the Department of Health and its organisations appears to have fallen by nearly two-thirds during the current fiscal year, compared with 2015-16. Data unearthed by The Register has found BT is also rapidly …
SA Mathieson, 7 Feb 2017
woman answers phone in the middle of the night. photo by SHutterstock

BT's ball-juggling routine can only go on so long

Analysis Former state monopoly BT is juggling so many regulatory, financial and operational balls it’s a wonder it has a free hand to get on with the day-to-day business. Just some issues facing the telco include: uncertainty over Openreach’s future; continuous declines in business with the public sector; a £9bn ballooning pensions …
Kat Hall, 6 Feb 2017
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Ofcom splashed 11% more cash on legal costs with £4.9m war chest

Communications regulator Ofcom splashed an extra 11 per cent on legal costs in 2015/16 compared with the previous year, spending £4.9m seeing off threats from operators. "Our legal costs will normally fluctuate year-on-year, in response to the type and volume of work we undertake, and importantly how companies respond to our …
Kat Hall, 3 Feb 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Openreach appoints former TUC head to independent board

Openreach has appointed former general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Sir Brendan Barber to its independent board. The creation of the board is part of BT's voluntary efforts to set up an independent Openreach entity. By doing so it hopes to avoid Ofcom winning approval from Europe for a legal separation of the …
Kat Hall, 1 Feb 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Plucky upstart CityFibre expects to swing into profit in FY2016

Wannabe BT challenger CityFibre is expecting to swing into profit for the full-year 2016, having added more than 5,000 fibre-to-the-premises connections last year. In its preliminary results, the business is expecting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, compared with a loss of £2.9m during 2015. The …
Kat Hall, 31 Jan 2017
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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix

Millions of Brits would rather pay through the nose for services via their existing broadband provider than switch suppliers and risk a prolonged period without access to the web, a poll has found. Some 35 per cent of customers said the fear of broadband blackout would deter them off signing up to another provider, according …
Kat Hall, 31 Jan 2017
BT Openreach van

BT's profits plunge 37% following Italian Job

Profits at BT plunged by 37 per cent to £526m for its third-quarter, due to the fall-out from the firm’s accounting scandal in Italy. Earlier this week BT issued a profit warning after it emerged the write-down from “improper accounting practices in Italy" would total £530m as opposed to the original estimate £145m. Shares …
Kat Hall, 27 Jan 2017
Woman shrugs. Photo by sHutterstock

Shocked, I tell you. BT to write off £530m over 'improper' Italian accounts practices

BT is to write off £530m following an accounting scandal in its Italian business, saying it was "deeply disappointed" with the improper practices uncovered. The firm had previously expected the sum to be £145m, but has today revised that figure upwards after the investigation began last October. BT said the behaviour in its …
Kat Hall, 24 Jan 2017
A broken phone

All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

BT is to hike its broadband and TV prices in an inflation-busting increase that will come into force this April. All basic broadband packages will increase by £2 per month, while BT Infinity fibre customers will be stung by a rise of £2.50 per month. The basic broadband package starts at £9.95 per month, while Infinity starts …
Kat Hall, 20 Jan 2017
woman answers phone in the middle of the night. photo by SHutterstock

BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

BT has opened a free nuisance call screening service, which it estimates could junk 15 million cold calls - such as PPI and accident claims - to a voicemail box. The Call Protect service will use what it described as "huge computing power" to analyse large amounts of live data, said BT. The Register has asked for specifics on …
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2017
Phone Booth

EE brings 1,000 call centre jobs to UK and Ireland

British mobile phone network EE has brought 1,000 customer service operator jobs in-house - claiming to be the first operator to "in-source" all call centre roles to the UK and Ireland. According to customer complaint data compiled by Ofcom, EE is one of the least moaned about mobile operators. Although O2, Three and Tesco …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Big tech's grip loosens on UK.gov IT spend

UK government IT spending is still dominated by a few big suppliers – but they are losing some of their grip, according to publicly released data and Freedom of Information responses covering five of the biggest-spending organisations. Last year, the Cabinet Office said the three biggest IT suppliers across central government …
SA Mathieson, 13 Jan 2017
Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Concerns are growing that some customers switching to BT fibre broadband may not be able to receive the service, despite the ISP "availability" checker saying otherwise – leading some to mistakenly sign up for the service. One customer got in touch with The Register to report he had switched from a £5 TalkTalk package boasting …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017
Handshake

Virgin surprises market by hopping into bed with BT for MVNO love-in

Virgin Media has surprised the market by signing a five-year deal with rival BT to use EE's network. The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deal means BT's EE will provide wholesale mobile network services to Virgin Media, a subsidiary of Liberty Global. Virgin Media has been relatively late to the 4G market, having only …
Kat Hall, 10 Jan 2017

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