In 1985 the Manx Government announced that it would award a 20-year licence to operate the telephone system in a tender process. As part of this process, in 1986 British Telecom created a Manx-registered subsidiary company, Manx Telecom, to bid for the tender. It was believed that a local identity and management would be more politically acceptable in the tendering process as they competed with Cable & Wireless to win the licence.
Manx Telecom includes two divisions: a mobile division; and a fixed line assets which constituted the first landline operations of Telefónica O2. To that end, Manx Telecom has since invested over £50 million in telecommunications infrastructure on the island, and is committed to a further £30 million investment over the next three years.
The cell-phone network operated by Manx Telecom has been used by O2 as an environment for developing and testing new products and services prior to wider rollout. In December 2001, the company became the first telecommunications operator in Europe to launch a live 3G network. In November 2005, the company became the first in Europe to offer its customers an HSDPA (3.5G) service.
O2, Sierra Wireless, and Manx Telecom Announce Availability of the AirCard 850 Wireless Network Card on Manx Telecom-Europe's First Super-Fast 3G Service
Oct 31, 2005; VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and DOUGLAS, THE ISLE OF MAN-- (CCNMatthews - Oct. 31, 2005) - Sierra Wireless (TSX:SW)(NASDAQ:SWIR),...