BT Group PLC

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175px-BT logo.svg.png
Type: Public limited company
Industry: Telecommunications
Founded: London, UK (1846)
Headquarters: 81 Newgate Street,
                          London EC1A 7AJ
Country: United Kingdom
Products: Internet Service Provider, IP television, telecommunications services
Employees: 128,100 (31 March 2010) [1]
Revenue: 20.91 billion British pounds (2010)
Key People
Sir Michael Rake, Chairman
                         Ian Livingston, CEO 
Tony Chanmugam, Group finance director
Gavin Patterson, CEO BT Retail

BT Group PLC or British Telecommunications Group or British Telecom, is a company that offers telecommunication services worldwide. The headquarters of BT Group is located in London,

BT Group is currently operating in over 170 countries, being the largest telecommunication services provider in the world. The British Telecommunications Group is currently structured in a number of divisions, including:

  • BT Global Services for business services and solutions
  • BT Wholesale - the core trunk network of wholesale telecoms
  • BT Retail - consumer oriented retail telecommunications services
  • BT Operate - responsible for the roll-out and maintenance of the IP based fixed-line network of BT, named 21C network
  • BT Design - IT designers from their other divisions united together to design services on the 21C network


BT Group is probably the oldest telecommunications services company in the world, being founded in 1846 in the City of London, United Kingdom. The company appeared in 1846 as one of the first telecommunications companies in the United Kingdom, along with other important companies like the Electric Telegraph Company, the first commercial telegraphy services. Some of the telecommunications companies from that time were taken over, some collapsed, and the remaining companies were merged and renamed into British Telecommunications. Still, British Telecommunications was transfered under the Post Office, to state control. Between 1869 and 1969 the name British Telecommunications was not present under this name on the market, but under the General Post Office name in the first part of the period and in the second part of the period under the name Post Office Telecommunications.

In 1980 a committee decided to rename the Post Office Telecommunications into British Telecom but it still remained part of the Post Office. In 1981 two separate corporations were formed, taking away the responsibility for the telecommunications services from the Post Office. In 1982 the British government decided to sell 51% of the shares of British Telecom to private investors, in a privatization attempt. The operation went through in 1984. By the end of that year, all of the shares auctioned were sold to private investors. In December 1991 the British Government reduced the shares they owned in British Telecom from 47.6% to 21.8%, selling the 26,8% of shares to interested investors. In July 1993 British Telecom gained another approximatively 750.000 new shareholders as the British Government sold the remaining shares it had for the sum of 5 billion British pounds.

Ia new organizational structure, a new corporate identity and a new trading name were unveiled in April 1991. Thus, British Telecom became BT, the name it is know under today.

In 2003, BT showed off new brand values and a new corporate identity. These new characteristics have been kept until current days.

In 2004, BT launched Consult 21, an organization with the role of offering ideas for thei 21st Century Network project (21CN). The 21 CN project implies an Internet Protocol based network which allows people to communicate over different gadgets, including home phone to personal computer communication.

Modern day operations and acquisitions

In 2005, BT bought Albacom, the second largest telecommunication services provider on the Italian market. The same year they also bought Radianz, a financial services extranet provider, from Reuters. Another acquisition made in 2005 was a Californian telecommunications company named El Segundo.

In 2006, BT bought, an on-line electrical retailer. Later that year they announced that BT will be investing 7.5 billion British pounds (75% of their total capital spendings for the next five years) in their 21 CN project. BT expects to save 1 billion British pounds yearly after the transition to the new network is complete.

In 2007, BT bought PlusNet, an Internet Service Provider from Sheffield. The same year BT also bought a software solutions and IT consulting company named International Network Services. Later that year BT bought a company that provided network services to the South American corporate market, named Comsat International.

In 2008, BT bought Wire One Communications, making them worldwide leaders in video conferencing solutions. The same year they bought a company from Mountain View, California named Ribbit.

In May 2009, BT announced they have to cut 15.000 jobs after a poor previous financial year.

Joint ventures

BT Group was part of a large number of joint ventures.

  • MCI Communication Corporation, the second largest carrier of long distance telecommunications services in the United States of America, together with the BT Group, launched a company named Concert Communications Services in 1994. The value of this newly founded company was of 1 billion US dollars. The newly formed company was the first to offer a large portfolio of communications services to customers worldwide. As a part of the deal, BT Group bought 20% of MCI Communication Corporation. Later, MCI Communication Corporation and Concert Communication Services were bought by World Com for 7 billion US dollars. In the transaction which took place in 1997, BT Group received 465 million US dollars to break the merger with MCI and additional profit of 2 billion US dollars for their shares of MCI.
  • AT&T and BT founded a new company named Concert in July 1998, with each of them owning 50% of the newly formed company. After a slow growth of the telecommunication market, in November 1999 AT&T and BT decided to cancel the Concert project, with each company getting a part of the customers the new company already attracted.

Financial results

On 31 March 2010, BT reported a revenue of 20.91 billion British pounds revenue, which represented a reduction of 520 million British pounds in comparison to the previous fiscal year. The profit before tax announced on 31 March 2010 was of 1007 million British pounds, in comparison to the loss before tax of 244 million British pounds announced on 31 March 2009. [2]


External links

Official website of BT Group PLC