Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,105 pages of information and 231,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Mercury Communications

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November 1990.

Telephone system operator, of Brentford

1981 A licence was granted to Cable and Wireless in partnership with Barclays Merchant Bank and BP to establish a second UK telecommunications network, Mercury Communications Ltd, as a rival to British Telecom.

1983 Mercury Communications was the first company which offered an alternative telephone service to British Telecom[1]

1984 Barclays Merchant Bank and BP sold their shares to Cable and Wireless [2]

1984 Commissioned satellite ground station and completed UK fibre-optic cable network.

1988 The Time and Security business was formed from the non-telecommunications businesses of Telephone Rentals Ltd

1989 Gained licence for next generation mobile phones in the UK[3]

1991 Licences were issued to provide mobile services using digital technology operating personal communications networks - these were taken up by Mercury Personal Communications Ltd and Orange.[4]

1993 Blick bought the Time and Security business of Mercury Communications; neither company was involved in manufacturing but bought products from a range of suppliers and configured their own systems[5]

1997 Mercury was merged with three cable operators in the UK (Videotron, Nynex, and Bell Cablemedia) and renamed Cable and Wireless Communications which was then floated on the Stock Exchange[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Sep 02, 1983
  2. The Times, Aug 15, 1984
  3. The Times, June 23, 1989
  4. 1991 Competition Commission report
  5. The Times, October 23, 1993
  6. The Times, April 28, 1997