Vodafone UK, EE and Three UK defended their contract terms after consumer group Which? said UK mobile users are collectively paying £355 million (€493 million/$523 million) per year too much for their contracts.
Vodafone said customers in some of its European markets will be able to add bank cards to the Vodafone Wallet service and use smartphones to pay for goods and services at contactless terminals from the second quarter of 2015.
The UK government said it has plugged another potential source of bill shock after brokering a voluntary deal with EE, O2 UK, Three UK, Virgin Media and Vodafone UK to cap costs accrued on stolen devices.
EE won five out of six categories outright in the RootMetrics Mobile Network Performance Review for the second half of 2014, and tied for first place with Three UK for network reliability testing.
Three UK remains alone in defending a mobile-only strategy, continuing to question the appetite of UK consumers for so-called quadruple-play services. While some believe that mobile-only is no longer a viable approach and see converged offerings of fixed and mobile services as the way forward, it must not be forgotten that a merger of Three and O2 would create the UK's largest mobile operator by subscribers (31.5 million).
Vodafone Group slowed the rate of organic revenue decline in Europe to 2.7 per cent in its financial third quarter to end-December, and noted that the UK market returned to revenue growth during the three-month period.
BT has agreed to definitive terms to buy mobile operator EE from existing owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom for £12.5 billion (€16.7 billion/$19 billion), bringing to an end the first phase of a process that is set to turn the former UK incumbent into the market's biggest converged provider of fixed and mobile telecoms services.
TalkTalk was quick to praise the success of its new quad-play strategy after reporting year-on-year revenue growth of 4.2 per cent in its financial third quarter (calendar Q4), but the UK-based operator also indicated that the cost of acquiring new subscribers for combinations of its mobile, broadband and TV products would hit earnings in the full year.
Quad-play or multi-play strategies got another airing this week, as one operator hailed its success in bundling fixed, mobile and TV services together and another raised doubts again over the appetite that consumers are likely to have for such service bundles.
Ofcom said it has varied the licences of the UK's four mobile operators following an agreement reached between the government and the operators in December to improve mobile coverage across the country.