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BT’s Possible Return to Mobile

BT’s Possible Return to Mobile

On Monday BT Group issued a statement to the media confirming that they were in ‘highly preliminary’ talks with Spain’s Telefonica to buy the UK arm of O2. This would catapult BT back into the mobile network industry which it exited over a decade ago when it spun-off BT Cellnet, which rebranded to become O2. It has been known for a long time that BT have wanted to make a return, with a possible virtual network being planned, however this takeover would make them the owner of the country’s second biggest mobile network. In their statement it was also mentioned that they received expressions of interest from shareholders of two mobile network operators, one of which O2 and the other is believed to be EE, as reported by Reuters.
Ownership of a mobile network would allow BT to offer ‘Quad Play’ packages to consumers, which bundle television, home phone, broadband, and mobile for one set monthly payment. This would make them competitors to Virgin Media, which currently offers the quad bundles, and Vodafone, which plans to offer it’s own TV and Broadband service next year. The deal for O2 is suggested to cost around £10 billion, which some have said will lead to a price hike in some of BT’s other services to gain back their investment. However both BT and Telefonica stressed that it is possible that no deal will arise from the talks.

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