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In the early 1980s, there was only one provider who could even offer mobile telecommunications. British Telecom (BT) was the only telecoms provider who could provide the service. In 1982, it was announced that BT would be privatised and 51% of the company's shares would be sold to private investors.
By 1984, BT had lost their exclusive rights to the telecoms market. The 1984 Telecommunications act was created to set the framework for a competitive market. Being believed that growth would be quicker if other companies competed in this sector. It also relinquished government control and would then allow companies to offer customers more competitive prices.
The original telecoms provider, BT were government owned until the 1980s. The infrastructure in the UK is in place due to the government push to get the country connected. Now BT operates as a provider but also still owns the vast majority of landlines in the UK.
They have been a mobile phone provider in their own right previously but now are a virtual network that runs off EE. BT used to own majority shares in Cellnet, which then became O2 in 2002 when it was sold to Telefonica.
BT are probably not the first company that most think of when it comes to business mobile phone providers, but as they run on the EE network, they offer some of the best speeds with the best overall coverage in the UK.
The very first commercial mobile phone call made in the UK was made using what is now Vodafone's cellular network. Made over 35 years ago from London to Newbury.
Vodafone is one of the most recognisable telecoms providers, with over 19 million users in the UK alone. Vodafone offers faster speeds than O2 and roughly the same coverage as O2 as well. Vodafone is one of the best business mobile phone providers in the UK.
EE has had a very colourful history as a business telecoms provider, as they have had many iterations, mergers and acquisitions over the last 30 years. Starting as two separate entities, Orange and T-Mobile were acquired by BT and merged into a new network called Everything Everywhere.
Since then it has simply become EE and holds the predominant market share in the mobile telecommunications industry.
Starting its life as Cellnet, O2 enjoyed being the largest business mobile phone provider in the UK for a long time. Before the merging of T-Mobile and Orange in 2010, giving way to EE 2 years later.
O2 was the first network in the world to have GPRS, which allowed for mobile data to transmit data wirelessly.
O2 is seen to have the best 2G coverage in the UK, but not 4G.
Why choose Armstrong Bell?
We have access to the business mobile phone providers mentioned so we can offer the most competitive rates.
By not tying ourselves to one provider, you can be sure that we will deliver on what you need the most. Pricing is constantly changing as new devices are released, but we can offer you the hardware you know and love. Pricing can also fluctuate with the amount of lines your business needs. The best way to get exactly what you need is to get in contact with us and we will do the rest!