It’s nearly thirty years since mobile phones arrived in the UK, and now we have more of them than we have people. But how well do you know Britain’s mobile operators?
Vodafone and BT’s Cellnet were the first of an ever-shifting pack of operators. After three decades of merger and acquisition, we have ended up with Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, as well as a bunch of others piggy-backing on their networks through MVNO mobile virtual network operator) deals.
During that time there have been a plethora of technology options and market tactics. Mobile masts have been put up in Britain’s remotest areas to increase coverage, and mobile signals will soon be extended into the London Underground.
Meanwhile, services have evolved, taking in 3G and now 4G, with EE the first to offer 4G services. Data has moved on from being something exotic, through the poorly realised WAP days, to now, when everything is available as an app, and mobile data consumption is increasing by leaps and bounds.
During that time, there have been some set-backs, when networks fail (sometimes through sheer overload). And operators have squabbled over new super-phone, in particulat the Apple iPhone, which changed the landscape when it arrived.
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