Industry Highlights - November 2016

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What’s happened since our last blog post? Well, Vodafone have been fined £4.6 million, voice call volumes continue to fall and the iconic red phone box celebrated 80 years.

Vodafone fined £4.6 million

I imagine you might have heard about this. You may have been personally impacted by it. Vodafone's recent activity included taking money from Pay As You Go users, but not giving them a service in return. Then, presumably off the back of this dodgy dealing, Ofcom uncovered "flaws" in their complaint handling procedures.

This has resulted in two penalties from Ofcom combining to total a fine of £4,625,000.

Ofcom described their behaviour as "serious and sustained breaches of consumer protection rules."

Ofcom's summary and news release can be found here.

Total voice call volumes fell in 2015

In a second story from Ofcom, additional data was added to their yearly Communications Market Report.

In the report they identified that there's a continued trend away from voice calls to other forms of communication, like emails and messaging through social media. This is partly down to the increasing levels of smartphone use.

But, before we run for the hills, the decrease is just one percent and voice calls still added up to 217 billion minutes.

The biggest fall was in those calls originating from fixed lines. Calls originating from mobiles actually increased minimising the overall decrease.

Iconic 'K6' red phone box turns 80

First seen on the streets of the UK in 1936, the 'Jubilee Kiosk' or red K6 phone box is now celebrating 80 years.

It's a genuine icon of British landscapes; as much as red buses. There are, in fact, 2,400 kiosks that are designated as grade II listed buildings.

Despite the change in how we make calls and generally communicate, these phone boxes are still in use, but not necessarily as a phone box.

Since 2008, BT has been enabling communities to buy them for £1. Over 3,500 kiosks are now being used for alternative reasons. One locally to me is used as a used book stall. We retweeted a post back in May about someone in Holborn had turned one into a salad bar.

Neil Scoresby, Head of Payphones at BT commented:

"The success of the scheme has shown the huge amount of affection communities have for red phone boxes, particularly the K6. They’re loved around the world, so much so that lots of people have actually bought one from us."

I may not have bought a full size one, but I have got a miniature replica on my desk in the TTNC office.

David Orrell