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The UK communications sector has about 8,000 companies who employ over 270,000 people.

Big communications projects in the UK are currently focused on infrastructure – the introduction of fibre-optic home broadband and the roll out of 4G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile data communications.


With the largest mobile market in Europe with a value of £14 billion annually, the UK has 80 million subscribers. This means companies are always looking at new opportunities to use the technology.

Now the biggest mobile payment market in Europe, with more consumers using new non-cash payment methods when shopping, the value of transactions made through such devices in 2015 was around £71bn.

Many companies in the communications industry have already found the UK to be their ideal location. They include Alcatel-Lucent (based in Bracknell), BT, Huawei (based in Reading), MediaTek, Qualcomm, Siemens, Telefónica (based in Slough) and Vodafone Group (based in Newbury).

The UK produces 46,000 engineering graduates each year. About 25,000 students are studying for degrees in subjects ranging from multimedia computer science to microwave engineering. There is also a highly skilled workforce already within UK companies.

Thames Valley


O2, the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited, is a leading digital communications company and, according to Ofcom, has the highest customer satisfaction level of any mobile provider. With over 25 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the UK, as well as operating O2 Wifi and owning half of Tesco Mobile. O2 has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2 arena, O2 Academy venues and England Rugby.


Its Slough Head Office houses a range of functions, including Digital Marketing, Legal & Procurement, Finance, Strategy, HR, Technology, Business to Business, International Opportunities and Partnerships.


Vodafone was the first cellular network to launch in the UK, making the first mobile call to their Newbury HQ on 1 January 1985. In 2014, the then Prime Minister David Cameron visited the site to launch their £100m retail expansion, including 1,400 new jobs and 150 new stores. They now employ over 13,000 people across the UK, all managed from that site.


With regard to their HQ, Vodafone say “Described by employees as “idyllic” and “the best environment to work in”, our spacious, state-of-the-art campus is designed to inspire and encourage collaboration. Here you’ll have the space and freedom to work how and where you’re at your best, surrounded by trees, greenery and our very own lake. And there’s a range of facilities to support your work, your life and your well being, from a restaurant and convenience store to our on-site gym and health services.”


Major investor Huawei is dedicated to helping the UK remain a leader in the global ICT sector. The company has 15 offices across the UK and moved their UK Headquarters, which manages over 1100 UK employees, to Reading in 2015.


In November 2012 Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei announced a £1.3bn five-year UK investment and procurement plan. In June 2015, the Economic Impact Report of Huawei in the UK by Oxford Economics reported that Huawei is on track to meet this commitment. Between 2012 and 2014 Huawei made a contribution of £956m to UK GDP and at that time supported 7,400 jobs directly and through its supply chain.