British fixed line incumbent BT has inked a ten-year deal with Telefonica UK, which offers mobile services under the O2 UK banner, under which it will support the introduction of 4G services for the cellco’s subscribers. Under the terms of the deal, BT will build a new high capacity transmission network which it claims will enable O2 UK to meet increasing demand as mobile data traffic continues to increase. BT has also said it will provide O2 UK with a sizeable increase in backhaul capacity by delivering the high speed mobile backhaul links between its mobile base stations and the new transmission network. Further, the new transmission network is expected to assist O2 UK in migrating from legacy TDM to Ethernet based IP services, a development which it claims will help the cellco deliver a range of new applications to its customers whilst reducing its overall transmission costs.
Commenting on the deal, Adrian Di Meo, O2 UK’s chief technology officer, noted: ‘With the UK’s 4G spectrum auction complete, UK mobile data traffic is set to grow by more than 400% by 2016. This is a huge opportunity for us, as well as a technical challenge. But through our partnership with BT Wholesale, customers of O2 will be backed by a high-performance mobile internet network which we believe will release the potential of 4G services and result in unrivalled mobile phone and internet browsing experiences.’