News

Mobile operators expressed their disappointment after regulator Ofcom pushed through a five-fold increase in the fees for existing phone spectrum bands yesterday in a move that will net the Treasury a windfall of almost £250m a year.

Swisscom float

SHARES IN the state-owned Swiss telecoms company Swisscom are to be priced in a range of 330 to 410 Swiss francs when the company is floated in October, the Swiss government announced.

Vallance goes part-time at BT

Sir Iain Vallance is to relinquish his role as executive chairman of British Telecom from August, moving to a part time position with the company after more than 10 years at the helm.

Letter: Making mines safer

May I reply to the view A J P Dalton gives (Letters 28 January) of health and safety conditions in Britain's coal mines?

C&W names Olsen as interim chief

MARY FAGAN

C&W ready to fight Lord Young in court

Cable & Wireless is prepared to go to court to fight a pounds 2.5m compensation claim from Lord Young of Graffham, who was de-throned as chairman of the company two weeks ago. The company is taking a tough line, saying that as Lord Young had no formal contract with the company his claims have no foundation.

Cable subscribers on the increase

Cable subscribers on the increase

Money in Brief: Cheaper calls

British Telecom is cutting the cost of calls made by charge card users by a third. Between 1 May and 30 June, the cost will be reduced from 10p a unit to 6.67p.

Barclaycard 'loyalty' bonus

Barclaycard is offering its customers a 10 per cent discount on holidays booked before 28 February through its Holiday Club, a credit card 'loyalty' scheme. The departure date must be between 1 May and 31 October this year.

Departures: Fighting fund

PEAK SEASON holiday bookings may have been given a boost by the recent surge in the pound, but the tour-operating business is still in poor shape.

Departures: Smart phonecard

THE AT&T TeleTicket phonecard, which can now be bought at British travel agencies and Keith Prowse outlets (071-937 2777), is a pre-paid card useable from any push-button phone in the United States. Unlike European phonecards, the AT&T card does not have to be inserted into a phone with a special slot. Calls are made by dialling a toll-free access number and punching in the numbers on the card.

BT call raises workers' blood pressure

BRITISH TELECOM executives have told switchboard operators that they cannot give blood in company time during the summer, writes Terry Pattinson.

Lord Young of Grafham, chairman of Cable and Wireless, arriving for its annual meeting

Lord Young of Grafham, chairman of Cable and Wireless, arriving yesterday for its annual meeting. He said core businesses were growing strongly, including its Mercury unit, which is adding 1,500 customers a day. But shareholders were outraged at his 77 per cent pay rise.

Ex-BP man to head track authority

The new track authority, Railtrack, will be headed by Bob Horton, a former chairman and chief executive of BP. Mr Horton, 53, was appointed vice-chairman of BR in December much to the annoyance of its chairman Sir Bob Reid. He has a reputation as a hard-nosed operator who resigned from BR following a boardroom coup.

Television's wide boys may have to wait: British opposition may sink a European strategy for high-definition TV, leaving viewers in the dark, says Steve Homer

THE European summit in Edinburgh this week could have a bigger effect on the television we will be watching next century than the Government's Green Paper on the future of the BBC.

Firm start at Forth Ports

SHARES IN Forth Ports, which was privatised in March at 110p a share, closed up 9p at 176p yesterday after its first set of interim results showed operating profits of pounds 5m, up 5 per cent, writes Topaz Amoore.
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