Top 10 Telecom Companies in UK 2015

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1. BT Group

BT Group PLC is a British telecom giant with operations in 170 countries and headquartered in London.

Image: Wikimedia

It provides services in fixedline and mobile telephony, broadband internet, digital television, fiber-optic communication and IT services as well. It has a primary and secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange respectively. It’s also a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

The group’s history lies in the amalgamation of the telecom companies in Britain as British Telecom in the 1920s. The government’s privatised BT in 1984 by selling off its stake up to 51% to private investors. It was at that time the largest share issue in the world. BT had monopoly in telecommunications in UL which was abolished by the Telecommunications Act, 1984. In 1985, BT and Securicor Cellular created a JV to launch Cellnet. In 1991, UK’s telecom markets moved towards open markets. Despite the influx of new players in the UK telecom market especially in early 2000, BT remains the largest telecom player.

BT runs telephone exchanges, local loop connections, trunk network for the British fixed line telephones. It’s the only UK telecom operator to have USO or Universal Service Obligation i.e. providing fixed telephone line to any address in the UK as well as an obligation to provide public call boxes. The obligatory nature of the fixed line business and close regulation prompted BT to move into profitable businesses like broadband service and customized solutions in IT & telecom technology.

The focus areas of the group for the coming years will be on building infrastructure for fibre broadband and high speed internet continuing to work with the government to take fibre coverage to 95% of the UK. It plans to bolster BT mobile services by the proposed acquisition of EE in 2016, giving them access to UK’s most advanced 4G network and creating a plethora cross-functional products that provide innovation communication services.

Revenues: $ 14.96 billion

Subscribers: ~31 million


Ranking Methodology:

Telecommunications include wireless and fixed line telephone services, broadband internet services as well as broadcasting. For the multiple players competing in the UK telecom market with telecom services spanning across the given businesses, revenue is a fair metric to determine the scale of operations. A shortlist of the top 20 companies were made based on the revenues generated, off which the top 10 were selected