BT Group PLC

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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.

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. The value of this newly founded company was of 1 billion US dollars.

to be continued