Telefónica UK Ltd. , which operates under the O2 brand, has been selected as the preferred mobile services supplier for a £1.5 billion (US$2.33 billion) smart meter contract by the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change as part of the nationwide Smart Meter Implementation Programme. Telefónica's share of the contract covers the UK's central and southern regions, while Arqiva landed a £625 million ($974 million) deal to cover the northern portion. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), which was also bidding for the work, missed out. (See O2 Makes Smart-Meter Move.)
Telefónica's plan for a joint e-commerce venture with CaixaBank and Banco Santander on its home soil has been given the all-clear by the European Commission. It is envisaged that the joint venture will develop a "virtual community" for retailers and consumers in Spain, providing services such as digital advertising and data analytics to the former and "digital wallets" to the latter.
BT and Virgin Media have made our editor-in-chief's day by signing a deal that will bring -- at no extra cost -- BT's much trumpeted new TV sports content to Virgin subscribers who take the MSO's XL package. Virgin will also offer the sports channels as a standalone premium service to customers who did not opt for the XL package. So sit back, Ray, and enjoy the Ultimate Fighting Championship and all the Moto GP qualifiers. We just know your other half's looking forward to it.