Hutchison Whampoa, owner of Three U.K., has today acquired O2 Ireland in a deal worth €850 million ($1.1 billion). Telefonica, O2’s parent company, believes the move will “create a new competitive dynamic in the Irish market,” which Three can now claim 37.5% of with 2 million active subscribers.
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Virgin Mobile has today announced that it will be launching the iPhone 5 on Friday, June 28. The handset will be available on its Beyond Talk plans, which offer unlimited 3G and 4G LTE data and unlimited messaging for $35 per month. Prices for the iPhone 5 itself start at $549.99.
The demand for 4G LTE connectivity has never been higher, and companies are pulling all the tricks out the bag to try to fulfil the high demand. Last night, Sprint announced that it has turned on high-speed 4G LTE data in 22 new locations. The announcement was made in a single press release on the U.S. carrier’s website.
Europeans will next year be able to take their smartphones anywhere within the EU and enjoy calls, texts, and data without paying a penny more than they do at home. Expensive roaming fees are set to be scrapped by July 1, 2014, after the European Commission voted to fast-track a major overhaul of telecoms regulation.
Having a hard time connecting to the Internet on your Three smartphone this morning? You’re not the only one. The British carrier has confirmed that it is currently suffering a glitch that is affecting data services across the whole of the U.K., but it promises it is working to fix it.
Vodafone has confirmed that it will roll out its new 4G LTE network in the United Kingdom this summer, ready for a launch “later this year.” The move follows the carrier’s £790 million ($1.2 billion) acquisition of a chunk of 4G spectrum back in February.
EE has today announced that its 4G network is now available in another 12 towns across the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of 4G connected towns and cities to 62 in just six months following its launch. That’s 50% of the U.K. now covered by 4G, and EE is aiming to increase that to 70% by the end of the year.
EE has announced plans to double its 4G LTE network speeds in ten U.K. cities by the summer. The move will boost headline speeds to 80Mbps, and increase the average speed to 20Mbps for both new and existing subscribers. The carrier says this is part of its ambition to “stay one step ahead” as rival carriers prepare to launch their own 4G networks in the coming months.
We’ve known that T-Mobile was doing away with two-year phone contracts for quite some time, but exact details haven’t been revealed until today. Unlike the other big U.S. carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint), T-Mobile isn’t doing subsidized, two-year contracts for smartphones anymore. Instead, you pay as you go—and the monthly rates look very good.
A petition against a phone unlocking ban that was introduced last month has now received more than 100,000 online signatures, the threshold petitions must reach to get an official response from the Obama Administration. The petition calls for the White House to make cellphone unlocking legal again, without having to go through a carrier.