Acquisition to give Virgin Media stronger position against Sky
British cable service provider Virgin Media has been acquired by Liberty Global. The deal, worth $23.3 billion in cash and stock, gives Liberty a bigger stake in European businesses, as well as providing both companies the chance to save around $180 million per year after regulatory and shareholder approval and the acquisition closes.
Free Wi-Fi will migrate to prepaid system after the summer
Virgin Media has named the first London Underground stations that will be Wi-Fi enabled for no charge during the summer. The Internet service provider is installing hotspots at stations in the UK capital ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, with 80 stations due to be set up by the end of July, and 120 stations by the end of the year.
Stations but not trains to get wireless networking
Virgin Media has won the contract to provide wireless services to London's Underground transit system. Under the contract, the Wi-Fi networking will be free until the completion of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and pay-as-you-go afterwards. Coverage will include station ticket offices, escalators and platforms, but not on the trains themselves.
Free offering limited to 0.5Mbps
Virgin Media has confirmed plans to build a free Wi-Fi network across London. The company is said to be aiming to compete with British Telecom's Openzone network, which is only available for users willing to pay up to £6 for 90 minutes of connection time if they do not have a BT broadband subscription.
Will charge for streamed misic as part of a bundle
Virgin Media has signed a deal with
Spotify to add streaming music to its cable content offering in the UK. Virgin's subscribers will be able to buy a bundle which includes access to Spotify's 13 million tracks. Although Spotify does offer a free, ad-supported streaming service, Virgin's subscribers will have to pay a subscription for their songs.
Ofcom broadband price cuts could lead to savings
UK telecommunications industry regulator Ofcom has revised the rates that Openreach, manager of BT's network, is able to charge other providers for using its services. This wholesale price could be reduced by over 10 percent per year. Companies that use Openreach, like TalkTalk and Sky, will benefit, but it won't help those such as Virgin Media that use their own cable network.