TalkTalk (officially TalkTalk Telecom Group plc) is a television, home phone, broadband, mobile broadband and mobile business, launched in 2003 as a subsidiary of The Carphone Warehouse plc. In March 2010 the company demerged from The Carphone Warehouse Group plc and was listed on the London Stock Exchange. TalkTalk took Carphone Warehouse's place in the FTSE 250 Index as a result.
Originally solely a fixed landline provider, TalkTalk now operates and sells home phone and broadband packages to UK customers under the TalkTalk and AOL Broadband brands. The company also provides services to business customers under the Opal brand. Like some other UK broadband providers on the ADSL network, TalkTalk has invested in its own exchange infrastructure, known as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), with 72% of its customers base unbundled as of December 2009.
TalkTalk launched in February 2003 after the acquisition of Opal Telecom in November 2002. The acquisition meant The Carphone Warehouse now had its own switching network providing access to BT Wholesale's landline network for the first time. An initial trial was conducted in the Manchester region. Three months later, TalkTalk was launched with the slogan landline calls for less , and a guarantee that calls would be cheaper than with their perceived chief competitor, British Telecom.
Several high profile TV advertising campaigns commenced in 2003, initially under the first TalkTalk brand utilising the former public face of BT, Maureen Lipman. It appeared that TalkTalk was going head to head with BT with the slogan It's good to Talk, but it's better to TalkTalk , mocking BT's It's good to Talk slogan. In the following years TalkTalk invested heavily in TV advertising and has won several awards for creativity. TalkTalk Broadband was subsequently launched in November 2004. The free broadband offer was later launched in April 2006. The company was criticised several times for making exaggerated claims such as Free Broadband Forever which later turned out to be misleading. The company purchased Xtra of Spain for £11.6m.