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BT to offer mobile services over EE network

Jennifer Scott

BT is making its move back into the mobile market with plans to team up with EE as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

The telecommunications company currently offers a small range of mobile services over Vodafone’s network, mainly targeted at business customers and its employees. However, it decided earlier in the year to seek out a new partner and widen its reach.

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After discussions with all of the UK’s major operators and a full tender process, BT today announced it had chosen EE as its preferred bidder and is now in discussions to finalise the terms of the contract before signing a deal.

The partnership will give it access to both EE’s 3G and 4G network. However, BT also owns 4G spectrum, having won 2 x 15MHz of 2.6GHz and 1 x 20MHz of 2.6GHz in Ofcom’s auction earlier this year, paying a seemingly small amount of £186m.

The company had claimed it planned to use the extra capacity to increase its Wi-Fi performance and improve indoor coverage, but it could come into play in the terms and conditions of the new deal for mobile purposes.

“We haven’t finalised anything regarding the spectrum and whether we would share it with EE or not yet,” said a spokeswoman. “All we have said is that EE is our preferred bidder and we are proceeding with discussions to finalise the details of the contract.”

BT has pledged to carefully manage the change over from Vodafone to EE to “ensure a seamless transition for customers”.


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