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Company: BT Group PLC

Brand value: US$14,234 million

Headquarter city: London

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 1846


BT is the world’s oldest telecommunications company, and was the first to develop a nation-wide communications network. Originally called The Electric Telegraph Company, founded in 1846, it was a state-run organisation for many years, combined with the Post Office. After privatisation and restructuring in the 1970s and 80s, it became known as British Telecom, and has been simply BT since 1991. In the UK, BT is part of a highly competitive telecoms sector; it provides fixed-line telephone services, broadband, mobile and TV services to domestic consumers, and IT services to businesses. It has been expanding its TV line-up in recent years, and now has exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League tournament. It is the market leader in fixed line and broadband connections, and promotes its customer service, innovation, and bundles of services at a combined price. BT says its mission is “to use the power of communications to make a better world”. In recent UK advertising, BT has placed Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds in a series of unlikely situations that take a tongue-in-cheek look at the strength of Wi-Fi from a BT router, though one ad had to be withdrawn for exaggerating comparisons with competitors. BT has extensive international operations. It is the largest telecoms services wholesaler by revenue in Europe, is present in 180 countries, and employs 17,000 people globally. In the UK, it has announced plans to fully integrate its mobile network brand, EE, within four years. BT is listed on the London Stock Exchange.