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Telecommunication sector in UK is famous for its advance, openness and adoption of new technology. Broadband network is one of the quickest developing sectors in UK. Total number of broadband users in UK had surpassed that in France by the beginning of 2006, bringing UK to the biggest broadband country in Europe. After Conservative Party took into power from Labor, development of super fast broadband network continues to be one of the biggest proposals of UK government in 21st century. Conservative Party pledged that most Britons can use 100 Mb superfast broadband by 2017. With technology revolution and severe completion taking place at the same time, the speed of broadband has been increasing quickly with the growing desire of customers. Market distribution has changed dramatically with the severe competition over speed and service quality. Only in few years, there are many ups and downs for some ISPs in Broadband sector of UK, resulting in a few telecom giants turning up to provide bundle services of broadband, mobile broadband, home telephone, digital TV and mobile phone with the seek for supplying simple and cross service to customers.
In viewing to the UK market, there are over 100 ISPs. However, market share is mainly occupied by the following providers: BT,Virgin Media,BskyB,O2, Be, TalkTalk, Orange etc.
 
 

Virgin Media, founded from former NTL:Telewest and Virgin Mobile and starting trade from the spring of 2007 on its name, is one of the biggest telecom giants in UK. Virgin Media is the first provider in UK supplying broadband, home phone, digital TV and mobile services on the basis of both cable and ADSL.
NTL:home, founded in 1993, had 3 million customers in total before merged , including 1.40 million broadband customers, taking up UK broadband market share of 17%. Established in 1984, Telewest was trading in the name of Croydon Cable at the beginning, and then was merged by an American company. Telewest had about 0.53 million customers before merged by Virgin Media. In spring 2006, NTL merged Telewest as new brand of NTL:Telewest, a biggest broadband provider in UK at that time. Virgin Mobile ,setting up in 1968, was a big mobile telecommunication firm widely trading in Europe, America, Australia, Africa etc.
Since its establishment, Virgin Media group, taking full advantage of cable service and following the trend of global broadband speed revolution, has quickly expanded its business. With the clear aim to be the leader of UK superfast broadband service, the giant, taking its super fast speed as market booster, launched its 50Mb broadband to broadband market in 2008, bringing its products portfolio to three services: 10 Mb, 20Mb and 50Mb. By the beginning of 2010, customer number of Virgin Media rose to 4.1million, covering half of UK, among whom, more than 0.56 million customers had enjoyed 50Mb or 20mb fast broadband. According to an announcement of Virgin Media, the giant will launch its 100Mb broadband to market place at the end of 2010 and 200Mb and 400Mb will come into reality in the near future. According to surveys made in these years, the speed of Virgin Media broadband has been always on the top position.

 
 

British Telecom, short for BT, founded in 1846, is the oldest UK telecommunication company and also one of the biggest European telecommunication giants. With mainly focusing on UK, BT can provide local, national and international call services, fast broadband, internet products and IT solutions. In UK, BT has 20 million business and residential customers, 29 million telephone exchanges. BT also provides wholesale services to other providers. BT phone network can almost reach everywhere in UK, on which other companies , except for cable company-Virgin Media and satellite companies, have to rely to provide their own services.
Since 2002, BT has taken its broadband service as core business to develop. In order to cope with the more and more fierce competition and multimedia time coming up, BT published its 21st Century Internet Strategic White Book and proposed its famous 21st Century Internet Plan (short for 21CN). The purpose is to generate creative ability for BT services and bring BT to the top telecommunication provider in the world. In 2005, BT announced a 10 billion investment to its plan. Over the past years, BT has become a leader of new technology creation and a full communication service provider containing home phone, superfast broadband, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi internet and IPTV etc. structurally, BT is strong competitor over other telecom-giants like Virgin Media and SKY. By the end of 2009, its broadband customer figure had reached over 5 million.
At the same time, BT has invested great funds to its superfast broadband plan and has become the core developer for UK superfast broadband. At the beginning of 2009, BT technically upgraded some of its exchanges in Kent with fabric optic and FTTC technology. At the beginning of 2010, BT formally launched its 40Mb superfast fabric optic broadband to market place. BT has planned to make this superfast broadband to cover 4 million households by the end of 2010, 12 million by March 2012 and two thirds of all UK household by 2015. At the same time, by the encouragement of Ofcom, BT has decided to open its own fabric optic broadband market to other providers to allow them involve superfast broadband service and then enforce competition. Like Virgin Media, BT is also an engine for UK superfast broadband.
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AOL, one of the biggest internet service providers (ISPs) in the world, is a subsidiary of Time Warner of America. AOL takes up a big market share in Europe. The company has about 2.3 million customers in UK, including 1.3 million broadband customers, with broadband market share of about 13%. The company has Safety & Security Centre with spy-ware protection and Parental control, with AOL broadband , parents have no worries about their children surfing on internet. AOL Broadband is the most recent acquisition by The Carphone Warehouse Group, purchased in December 2006 from AOL Inc. AOL Broadband is a key part of The Carphone Warehouse Group’s Telecommunications Division, which includes the Opal Retail, Talk Talk and CPW Networks businesses.

 
 

O2 is a young ISP in ADSL broadband market of UK and also one of the most successful broadband providers in UK. After merging BE broadband at the beginning of 2007, the mobile giant has quickly acquired its market place after making full use of its low price, high speed and happiness guarantee policy. By well utilising its combination advantage of mobile phone, home broadband and mobile broadband, O2 has successfully promoted its home broadband and mobile broadband, and also stabilised and expanded its mobile market. In a survey in 2009, O2 broadband was rewarded on the first place by criteria of reliability, price, service cost, customer service/technique support and promotion method and also acquired reward of excellent customer service and excellent home broadband. In a research of customer’s satisfaction in 2010, O2 broadband was without any doubt on the first place. By June 2010, O2 home broadband had had customers totalling 632,400, just next to BT on ADSL broadband In May 2010, O2 launched home phone and broadband bundle service, which is the cheapest one in UK market.
The roaring expansion experience of O2 generates a new myth in UK telecom history. However, no one could stay in an altar forever. The advantage of O2 broadband is not absolute, and therefore could not last forever.
 
 

In European prosperously developing satellite Digital TV sector, SKY is believed to be the most successful satellite broadcasting platform. With its plentiful and flexible program combination as well as high quality of reception , SKY has kept in the top one position in UK digital TV sector, with 7.84 million customers , taking up about 1/3 whole UK householders.
Facing the fast development of broadband services, SKY has launched its broadband service together with TV packages since summer of 2006. SKY broadband service is welcomed by the customers because of its price, quality, the company’s reputation etc. The launch of broadband not only significantly increased the market share of SKY TV, but also brings SKY broadband to be a strong competitor. By the end of 2007, SKY broadband had reached top fifth place in UK. However, after other ISPS like Tiscali and O2 launched their lower price broadband, especially after the latter went to the market with strong advantage of its mobile service, the strategy of SKY to promote its TV package by the help its broadband service is not working well as before with many customers’ losses. Since July 2007, SKY has made dramatic policy change. First, SKY has simplified its broadband package by changing three broadband download speeds (up to 2Mb, 10Mb and 20Mb) to just one single one ( up to 20Mb.) Second, SKY has launched its broadband alone package, allowing customers to subscribe TV and broadband bundle or singe broadband. Its unlimited broadband ( up to 20 Mb) alone is just £10 per month if customers order its talk plan, bringing SKY broadband to a strong competitive position over O2 home broadband from the points of speed, price and service quality.
 
 

Orange and Wandoo are France Telecom subsidiaries. They have been merged. Under the re-branding, Wanadoo became part of the Orange family. It is part of a strategic plan to use the Orange brand internationally for mobile, broadband, multi-play and business offerings. That means a simple, one company experience for customers and access to an exciting new generation of converged services.
Orange broadband is a fast and reliable service. It uses Livebox as a special wireless box, which can provide high speed , unlimited and wireless broadband ; and also a comprehensive services including VOIP and business communication (good phone rate between landline and mobile), online games etc.
 
 

Plusnet first started providing Internet access way back in 1997. Dial-up modems and 56k speeds were all the rage back then. Now Plusnet has grown to provide broadband to more than 200,000 customers. We also offer Home Phone and VoIP.In January 2007 Plusnet were bought by BT. Now Plusnet run as an independent subsidiary In 2008 Plusnet won Best Consumer ISP at the ISPAs (think Oscars but for the internet industry)
 
 

Eclipse, founded in 1995, provided broadband service first time to a customer in 2001. In 2002, eclipse became the first ISP in UK to provide online order. The company was rewarded “Best Business Broadband Provider” by Internet Service Provider Association ,and “Young IT Practitioner of the Year”by British Computer Association in 2003 because of its outstanding quality and service. In 2005, Eclipse was awarded “Best Heavy Business Broadband Award” by Internet Service Provider association.
Eclipse pays a lot of attention on customer services and customers’ feed back to their services. The company has arranged half of its staff to deal with customer services. All enquiries, training and technique support are for the purpose of meeting customers’ customized requirement. The reliability of Eclipse broadband service has won customers’ admiration. All customers who have used Eclipse services will become their stable customers.
 
 

Be, the first ADSL2+broadband provider in UK, founded in October 2004. As an independent ISP, Be kept the highest broadband download speed (up to 24Mb)and upload speed(up to 2.5mb) for a long time. As Be once said that “Be broadband is “ludicrously fast”, Be positions its mission as “providing the best service, the best products at most possibly low price. Be broadband is praised by customers on its high speed, reliability and clear pricing. Be broadband is the best option for heavy download business and home users.
After merged by O2 Group in June 2006, Be is still providing broadband on its own brand independently. In 2010, Be was rewarded by ISPA as “Best Consumer Fixed Broadband”.
 
 


TalkTalk is a subsidiary (telephone provider) of Carphone Warehouse Group plc, a famous European telecommunication retailer. In November 2002, Carphone Warehouse merged Opal Telecom, one of the UK ISPs, bringing TalkTalk much stronger position and more flexibility on its telephone network. In 2004, TalkTalk launched its free calls offer among their existing customers, then placed its special broadband and phone line bundling service to the market, with rental only £17.99 for unlimited broadband and unlimited free phone calls.
In July 2005, TalkTalk promoted an free international call service between UK and Ireland and its program of “International Extra”, making its call fees 92% cheaper than that of BT. In April 2006, TalkTalk started its bundled free broadband with phone service. The most important event in UK in 2009 was that Tiscali, once being a famous broadband and phone provider, was merged by TalkTalk.
The brand of Tiscali formally disappeared in UK broadband market, with all previous Tiscali customers switched to TalkTalk. Tiscali broadband had broad coverage and big customer group. Through this merge, TalkTalk has become the second biggest telecom giant in UK.

 
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