O2 ENTERS UK BROADBAND MARKET WITH PURCHASE OF BE 20 June, 2006
O2 today announced that it has purchased Be, one of the most innovative and technically advanced UK broadband providers, for £50 million. With Be, O2 immediately acquires the most up to date broadband capability in the UK and a platform for developing future converged services that integrate mobile and the internet.
Be is building its own national broadband network. It was the first UK broadband internet service provider (ISP) to use the latest ADSL2+ technology which offers speeds of up to 24Mbps. Be has so far rolled its network out to more than 150 local exchanges and has plans to be in more than 400, providing approximately 50% population coverage by the end of 2006. This will be further extended towards 70% population coverage by the end of next year. This will make it one of the UK‘s largest broadband providers by installed local loop unbundled (LLU) exchanges.
Making the announcement, Peter Erskine, Chairman and CEO of O2 said: "The O2 Group benefits greatly from the experience of Telefónica and insight into other markets such as the Czech Republic and Germany where customers have clearly demonstrated a demand for integrated broadband and mobile packages. Building on our existing fixed/mobile capability in Germany, the Czech Republic and the Isle of Man, Be‘s superior broadband operations and services help us fulfil our previously-stated aim of adding high quality broadband capability to our portfolio in the UK."
Matthew Key, CEO of O2 UK, commented: "Be is a young but highly innovative and ambitious business. Like us, it puts customers at the heart of what it does, moves quickly, and challenges convention. This acquisition will enable us to take advantage of technology innovations to offer a wider range of joined up mobile, internet and content services for our consumer and business customers in the future."
Managing director of Be, Dana Pressman, stated: "I am delighted that we are becoming part of such a respected and dynamic organisation as O2. With 16 million customers in the UK and significant opportunities for future growth in fixed and mobile, this is the start of an exciting new era for all of us within Be."
Be was founded in October 2004 and is privately owned by its founders, employees and investors. It is currently building its own national broadband network by installing LLU equipment in local telecommunications exchanges around the country using ADSL2+ technology and an automated installation process. At the prestigious 2006 ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) awards, the company won the ‘Best Sumo Consumer Broadband’ category for services of 2Mbps and above.
Be reveal ‘Annex M’ trials to increase upstream to 2.5 meg 13 March, 2006
Be, the ultra-fast, award winning broadband provider, has announced that it has been conducting ’Annex M‘ trials with a cross-section of its members to increase the theoretical upstream of its service to speeds of up to 2.5 meg - up to ten times faster than any of its rivals.
Be, who were the first to launch an ADSL2+ network in the UK, has been running the ’Annex M’ trials since late last year. The customers taking part in the trials have seen average upload speeds of 1.9 meg, 60% faster than Be‘s current record-breaking upload speeds of up to 1.3 meg. Upon successful completion of the Annex M trials, Be will upgrade its Office product to include the new technology at no additional fee. The Office product will offer up to 22 meg down and 2.5 meg up-significantly surpassing the throughput of a 2 meg SDSL product which retails of up to £1,050/quarter versus Be‘s £225.
"We are very excited about bringing another first to the UK market. It is very satisfying to offer a new technology with practical benefits at an unbeatable price level. This attitude defines what Be is about, and we will continue to challenge current norms," Dana Pressman, Be‘s Managing Director.
The expanding Be network now covers 1.52 millions lines, representing over 44.4 per cent of the lines that lie within the M25 and Be is continuing its plans for a national rollout. Currently, Be has unbundled and activated 80 exchanges, with more and more exchanges being Be enabled every week. By the end of May, Be plans to have activated 146 exchanges, with Birmingham and Manchester predicted to go live next month.
About Be: Be Un Limited ("Be") is the UK‘s first Internet service provider (ISP) to harness the latest ADSL2+ technology to maximise the potential of your BT phone line at a highly competitive price. The company is deploying its own network in the UK, utilising the Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) EU directive, which allows independent operators to lease incumbent‘s (British Telecom in the case of the UK market) last mile access infrastructure.
Be describes itself as ’life uninhibited ’-a freedom to be how you want to be online, supported by a 24/7 member service, no capacity restrictions and a free top-of-the-range Be Box wireless modem. Be‘s broadband service is currently available to home members from £14 per month and to office members for £75 per month. See BeThere.co.uk for more information.
Be wins ISPA Award - the internet BAFTAs February 24, 2006
Be, the ultra fast broadband provider, was crowned ‘Best Sumo Consumer Broadband’ ISP at last nights ISPA Awards - the internet event of the year. Staged at the Marriot Hotel in London, Be picked up the award for the ISP which provides the best over 2MB broadband service to consumers.
"We are delighted to receive this award in our launch year and it certainly makes the hard work worthwhile," said Boris Ivanovic, Be Co-founder and Director. "We still have a lot to do and are busy with our national expansion plans. Manchester and Birmingham will be the first cities outside of London to benefit from Be‘s award-winning service."
Since launching last summer, Be has continually raised the bar for the UK broadband market by offering the latest technology, which allows the fastest broadband speeds currently available, at highly competitive prices. Starting from just £14 per month and every member receiving a free ‘Be Box’ wireless router, Be have the most competitive broadband products in the UK.
"The judges felt that Be Unlimited were pushing the broadband boundaries by offering consumers an innovative service through ADSL 2+ technology which aims to reach speeds of up to 24MB," said an ISPA spokesperson. "Be Unlimited delivers great higher speeds to its users and was felt to be an interesting challenger to the big boys."
The ISPA Awards are renowned for their independence and research partner Epitiro spent three months testing all of the entrant’s services. Epitiro’s ISP-I ("eyespy") system compares ISP performance from a variety of sites across the UK, external to each providers network. ISP-I constantly monitors performance by continually connecting to each ISP, every 15-30 minutes, and capturing performance metrics such as time to connect, connection speed, upload, download speed, ping time, DNS look-up time and e-mail.
Be go live with 24 meg broadband service 26 September 2005
Be, the ISP has today launched ‘Be home 24 meg' - the UK's fastest broadband service. For just £24 per month, Be will offer it's members 24Mb connection and uncapped access to the internet.
Be is claiming the connection speed will be good enough to stream two High Definition TV (HDTV) channels, plus three or four standard TV or Video-on-Demand channels, and still have enough bandwidth for general surfing or voice calls (VoIP).
“This radically advanced capability will change the way people use their computers and opens up a world of opportunities as exciting as the advent of broadband itself” said Dana Pressman, Managing Director of Be
However Be admits that 24 meg, might not always be available. In a pilot scheme users achieved only 18.5 meg on average.
To join the broadband revolution, customers simply need a BT telephone line that is connected to an exchange in which Be has installed their equipment. The service costs £24 per month, plus a £24 connection fee, and there is no annual contract - Be simply ask for 3 months notice if members wish to cancel their service.
Pipex is gearing up to offer 24 meg broadband 8th September' 2005
Published Thursday 8th September 2005 12:23 GMT
Pipex is gearing up to offer punters 24 meg broadband as part of the ISP's investment in local loop unbundling (LLU).
The ISP - which has 215,000 broadband punters at the end of June - is to wire up 60 BT exchanges to provide broadband direct to punters.
"We have selected those exchanges where we have at least 400 customers within 5kms of our core network, providing a payback within 24 months," said the ISP today.
Investing in LLU means that Pipex should be able to save money, but it will also be only be able to offer new services and speeds of up to 24 meg.
A couple of ISPs - including Easynet's UK Online and yet-to-prove-itself ISP "Be" - have already announced their plans for 24 meg services while Bulldog is expected to announce details of a 20 meg service sometime soon.
Pipex is expected to launch its 24 meg service early in 2006.
In a statement executive chairman Peter Dubens: "The initial orders for unbundling local exchanges have been given to BT and we are confident that this will lead to a greater utilisation of our network, better margins and enhanced product offerings to our customers in the future."
Further 24 Meg and High Speed Broadband Information:
Pipex 24 Meg Broadband |
High Speed Broadband |
Broadband High Speed Internet |
Broadband Internet |