BT looks for mobile partner in 4G push

25 April 2013 | Mitch Sayers


BT has confirmed it is searching for a partner to help roll out a domestic mobile network following its £200 million investment in UK 4G spectrum.

The company has opened tender for an operator to provide BT mobile services to customers in consumer, in and out of the home, and business markets along with its own staff.

BT Mobile, its mobile subsidiary, had an agreement to use Vodafone's infrastructure, which effectively ended when Vodafone purchased Cable and Wireless Worldwide.

The Financial Times reports a partnership between BT and its old mobile arm 02, which it sold to Telefonica in 2005, could be in the offing as O2 did not purchase any higher frequency spectrum in January's auction.

"We can confirm we're looking for a fresh partnership with a mobile operator," BT said.

"We won some excellent 4G spectrum just recently so it makes sense for us to explore the new opportunities that 4G presents. We have a strong position in the WiFi market and we are looking to build on that."

The company also said it is "rolling out fibre at breakneck speed", and it was obvious that "customers want decent speeds when they're out and about as well as at home".

BT is reinvigorating its offering across media platforms with the imminent launch of TV platform BT Vision in August, while adding to its Wifi hotspot and IPTV services.

BT is thought to be trying to tap into the lucrative package deal market, where UK satellite provider Sky has found success offering TV, internet and phone deals.