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Going Underground

Why wasn't cable more widely used? (April 2018)

MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Yes and phones with Mercury buttons, and their great adverts with Harry Enfield.

Most of Mercury was sold to Cable and Wireless IIRC and its mobile network One2One became T-Mobile and is now part of EE


I had a Mercury phone account on my BT landline. I had to dial 132 in front of the number I think to route the call over their network. The phones with a blue Mercury button simply dialled 132 when pressed

I also had a one2one mobile phone, or as the network was dubbed by many, one2no one
FB
Fluffy Bunny Feet
Oh, I agree about the reach of satellite but with an existing cable network if both Sky and BSB were available on cable and satellite at the same time then I believe that both networks would have been viable.


It was financial suicide for new players. When they came to my town they rolled out quite literally a giant reel of cable and dug up all footpaths on the gamble that the take up would better the cost - madness.
RI
Riaz
Did they manage it? Their manholes are found all over London still, they even had the Met Police MetPhone contract in the early 1990s carrying radio (MetRadio) and telephony (internal and external) traffic between sites, interfacing with BT's switchboards.


Yes. They used the pipework from the London Hydraulic Power Company for cables. The company also had the added bonus that it had the rights to dig up the street in central London.
IS
Inspector Sands
Markymark posted:

I also had a one2one mobile phone, or as the network was dubbed by many, one2no one

I still had a One2One SIM in my phone until a few years ago. I think it was only when I changed to a 4G contract that they sent me a new one.

The early contracts had free evening (and weekend?) calls and the network got busy after 6 as people would ring numbers and have long conversations and there were some who realised they could be used as very good quality baby monitors for the evening.

I believe those contracts ere very sought after and many didn't change contracts or upgrade so they kept them well into the T-Mobile era. Not as unique an offer these days though
EL
elmarko Central Reporting Scotland
Incidentally I always wanted one of those Rabbit signs for my bedroom.
IS
Inspector Sands
Incidentally I always wanted one of those Rabbit signs for my bedroom.

There's still some around London, particularly in odd corners and kiosks in tube stations


Rabbit wasn't Mercury though, it was owned by Hutchinson who later launched Orange and then 3. Mercury had their own similar system called 'Callpoint'
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Quote:

That was Mercury Communications.

Did they manage it? Their manholes are found all over London still, they even had the Met Police MetPhone contract in the early 1990s carrying radio (MetRadio) and telephony (internal and external) traffic between sites, interfacing with BT's switchboards.

I was always surprised that The Bill got away with using Mercury branded phone handsets at the station, but I guess the argument was that it was required for realism.
Write that down in your copybook now.
RI
Richard Granada North West Today
Quote:

That was Mercury Communications.

Did they manage it? Their manholes are found all over London still, they even had the Met Police MetPhone contract in the early 1990s carrying radio (MetRadio) and telephony (internal and external) traffic between sites, interfacing with BT's switchboards.

I was always surprised that The Bill got away with using Mercury branded phone handsets at the station, but I guess the argument was that it was required for realism.

ITV soaps had, until a few years ago, various branded goods on them which were donated free by the companies concerned. That didn’t count as product placement as the companies didn’t actually pay to have their products on display.

Now, only companies which do pay PP fees have their products shown, other products are just genetic non-branded.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I'm sure it's still possible for branded products to be shown unpaid for as before? But presumably doing so would annoy the companies who do pay.
NW
nwtv2003 Granada North West Today
Quote:

That was Mercury Communications.

Did they manage it? Their manholes are found all over London still, they even had the Met Police MetPhone contract in the early 1990s carrying radio (MetRadio) and telephony (internal and external) traffic between sites, interfacing with BT's switchboards.

I was always surprised that The Bill got away with using Mercury branded phone handsets at the station, but I guess the argument was that it was required for realism.


I’m certain Brookside had a Mercury Phone Box before installing a BT one. They had one on the close and the other on the parade.
steve
steviegTVreturns
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Markymark posted:

I also had a one2one mobile phone, or as the network was dubbed by many, one2no one

I still had a One2One SIM in my phone until a few years ago. I think it was only when I changed to a 4G contract that they sent me a new one.

The early contracts had free evening (and weekend?) calls and the network got busy after 6 as people would ring numbers and have long conversations and there were some who realised they could be used as very good quality baby monitors for the evening.

I believe those contracts ere very sought after and many didn't change contracts or upgrade so they kept them well into the T-Mobile era. Not as unique an offer these days though


Yes, and my phone, a Nokia brick, had a full size ( by full I mean credit card sized) SIM. Which is why even today some new SIMs are still delivered mounted in a credit card template.

Roaming agreements took a while, I rembemer May 1997 going to Montreux. One2One boasted you could could roam in Switzerland. Great I thought. Landed at Geneva and sure enough there was a network, called ‘City Tel’, that was a clue to take note of ! As I reached the suburbs of Geneva the signal vanished and that was that. Nothing beyond the city. When I reached Montreux I borrowed a colleague’s Cellnet phone that was firmly connected to SFR CH and phoned One2One customer services who admitted ‘roaming in Switzerland’ in reality meant ‘Geneva’.

Happy Days
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
I hope the regulator punished them for that - it's false advertising.

Yes and phones with Mercury buttons, and their great adverts with Harry Enfield.

Most of Mercury was sold to Cable and Wireless IIRC and its mobile network One2One became T-Mobile and is now part of EE

Which is itself part of BT, which is actually a bit weird because BT used to own Cellnet, which is now the Telefonica-owned O2.

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