O2 plc

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The title of this article is incorrect because of technical limitations. The correct title is O2.
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The O2 plc Logo

O2 plc (known until March 2005 as mmO2) is a British telecommunications company specialising in mobile phones, previously part of BT Group plc. The company headquarters are in Slough, with major offices in Leeds, Bury, and Preston Brook. There are technology sites dotted around the UK.

Originally launched in 1985 and named Cellnet, the company's UK operation was originally a joint venture between BT Group (then called British Telecommunications) (60%) and Securicor (40%). It launched GSM services in 1993. In 1999, Securicor sold its remaining shares to BT and the company was renamed BT Cellnet. The company became part of the BT Mobile arm of BT, alongside the firms Irish, Dutch, and German mobile businesses.

mmO2 was created when BT Group divested its mobile phone business by a stock market flotation. The BT Cellnet consumer brand was renamed O2, the chemical symbol for molecular oxygen. O2 owns mobile phone businesses in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Germany. It also operates, somewhat at arms length, the mobile telecoms network in the Isle of Man, which it uses as an environment for developing and testing new products and services such as 3G prior to wider rollout. O2 formerly also operated in the Netherlands, however the service there (Telfort) was later sold.

In the UK the O2 network operates in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, offering GSM and GPRS carrier services. This has been in operation since the early 1990s and maintains variously 20-25% market share, with a disproportionately large share of the corporate market due to its BT heritage. The network recently launched a 3G, or UMTS, carrier network which operates in a different area of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In the Republic of Ireland, the O2 Ireland network is the former Esat Digifone 086 GSM 900 network which was set up in 1997. It currently has a 40% market share, 1.27 million customers.

O2 is the sixth largest mobile phone operator in Europe with 20 million subscribers. Its stock market value is approximately 10 billion making it a FTSE 100 Index company. Its turnover for the year ended 31 March 2004 was 5.694 billion. It is notable especially for its strong strategic partnerships with companies such as Research In Motion, manufacturers of the BlackBerry email product, and High Tech Corporation (HTC), manufacturers of the xda and xda II Pocket PC devices.

In February 2004, the company was subject to rumours of take-over bids from KPN, the Dutch telecommunications group though these never came to fruition.

In March 2005, the company under went a corporate reorganisation, that saw mmO2 plc being delisted from the London Stock Exchange and acquired (via a share swap) by a new company, O2 plc, which was listed on the LSE in its place.

External links

Template:MobilePhoneNetworksde:O2 Germany


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