For investors, the UK telecoms sector has presented immense challenges. Having boomed in the 1990s, mainly on the back of mobile telephony growth rates, telecom shares subsequently fell back sharply, as major debt concerns predominated. With Cable & Wireless (C & W) having exited, the UK sector now consists of little more than British Telecom (BT), privatised in 1984, and Vodafone, which was founded in the early 1980s.
In 2000, the sector was riding high, with not just BT and Vodafone at its forefront, but also C & W – the child of empire – which was effectively dissolved almost a decade later. Record valuations at the turn of the century were achieved not least by Vodafone, which had been powered by phenomenal growth throughout the 1990s.
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