Eurobites: Ofcom fines BT £2.8M for contract failings at EE and Plusnet

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange and Vodafone do vRAN in Romania; Swisscom gets Italy go-ahead for Vodafone deal; Nokia lands Netrouting gig in the Netherlands.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

May 22, 2024

3 Min Read
BT signage
(Source: BT)
  • BT has been fined £2.8 million (US$3.5 million) by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, for failing to provide more than a million new customers at its Plusnet and EE subsidiaries with the required contractual information before they were signed up. Since June 2022, UK phone and broadband companies have been required by Ofcom to give consumers and small businesses the details of any contract, as well as a summary of its key terms, before they sign on the dotted line. This must include information such as the cost and length of the contract, the speed of the service and any early exit fees that apply. Ofcom found that since the rules were introduced EE and Plusnet made more than 1.3 million sales without providing this mandatory information.

  • Orange and Vodafone have expanded their network-sharing open RAN pilot project to rural Romania, part of which involves the integration of 2G virtualized RAN (vRAN) technology – something the two operators describe as "an international first." The virtualization of 2G networks, say the operators, represents an opportunity for operators, circumventing the obligation to maintain legacy 2G networks developed on specialized hardware, as well as operating virtualized 4G/5G networks as an overlay. For the project, Samsung provided its vRAN software, Wind River provided the abstraction layer and Dell provided its PowerEdge servers equipped with Intel processors and acceleration cards.

  • Swisscom has received the Italian government's unconditional approval for its €8 billion ($8.7 billion) acquisition of Vodafone Italy, the powers-that-be concluding that the deal "does not determine a threat of serious prejudice to national interests." If the Italian government had considered the deal was a threat to national interests, it could have invoked its "Golden Powers" legislation to scupper it. The Swiss operator plans to merge Vodafone Italy with Fastweb, its existing Italian subsidiary.

  • Nokia has agreed an interconnection deal with Netrouting, a Dutch provider of cloud and data center services. Netrouting will draw on Nokia's optical and IP technologies for the interconnection of its cloud infrastructure and peering across seven data centers.

  • Virgin Media Business Wholesale has launched fiber routes and high-bandwidth services into Equinix's flagship data center, MA5, which is located in the northern English city of Manchester. Virgin Media's national wholesale network now connects to more than 160 data centers. The new routes can support a range of managed backhaul services, including 10Gbit/s National Ethernet, 10Gbit/s and 100Gbit/s National High Capacity Services (NHCS).

  • Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Eutelsat Group have struck a distribution partner deal that sees Eutelsat OneWeb's enterprise-grade low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services being made available to African companies.

  • TXO, a Wales-based recycler of network hardware, has appointed Simon Wort as its new group chief commercial officer. Wort, who joins TXO from ITS Technology Group, will be tasked with taking TXO's expansion into new commercial areas, focusing particularly on integrating the existing business with recently acquired companies Lynx and Teqport.

  • Sweden's Accedo has been chosen by UK broadcaster ITV to help bring its streaming service, ITVX, to PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles in the UK. ITVX has around 40 million registered users.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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