O2 ends Wi-Fi partnership with BT

O2 has cut ties with BT’s Openzone Wi-Fi service, meaning customers with have 4,200 fewer connections to choose from as of 1 July, 2013

The partnership between O2 and BT has been called off by the mobile operator, cutting customer access to a number of the telecoms giant’s Wi-Fi hotspots.

The alliance between the firms began five years ago and enabled O2 users to access the BT Openzone network for free. However, the operator has now decided to end its relationship as of 1 July, 2013 and go it alone with its O2 Wi-Fi network instead.

While BT claimed it had over five million access points across the UK, this includes all its Wi-Fi services. In reality, the termination of the deal will see O2 customers lose access to around 4,200 of BT’s premium-managed hotspots.

However, this number represents a third of all the previously usable connections, leaving O2 users with 8,000 in total from July that are also accessible to the general public, rather than exclusively for contract customers.  

An O2 spokesman said the company now had six million users on its Wi-Fi network and planned to continue to invest in it to improve its availability.

“We’ll continue to extend the reach and scale of O2 Wi-Fi through exciting partnerships with venues including O2 shops, restaurants, retail outlets and outdoor and indoor locations across the UK,” he said.

Current partnerships include Costa, Debenhams, McDonalds and Subway.

BT confirmed the partnership was over but did not want to comment any further.

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