Hutchison Whampoa and VimpelCom confirmed this week that they are in exploratory talks to merge their respective Italian mobile units in a joint venture, marking the latest effort by the Hong Kong-based company to expand its European operations.
EE is claiming a European first after it surpassed 10 million 4G customers on its network, adding that total 4G traffic has overtaken 3G traffic for the first time thanks to increased network coverage, particularly in rural areas.
UK-based supermarket giant Tesco plans to sell off its mobile unit in an effort to cut debt, with TalkTalk and fellow Tesco Mobile shareholder O2 UK cited as two potential buyers.
Hutchison Whampoa plans to sell a 33 per cent stake in the combined business of O2 UK and Three UK to five institutional investors for a total of up to £3.1 billion (€4.2 billion/$4.8 billion) in order to raise additional funding for the acquisition of O2 from Telefónica.
O2 UK has acquired all shares in UK mobile payments venture Weve, confirming reports from Monday that founding partners EE and Vodafone UK planned to exit the venture.
UK mobile payments venture Weve could soon be broken up, as reports say the planned sale of founding partner O2 UK to Hutchison Whampoa would dismantle the existing three-year partnership.
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.