BT to launch mass-market mobile offering?

14 May 2013

British fixed line incumbent BT’s CEO has made the first clear indication that his company will enter the mass-market mobile sector in an interview with local broadsheet The Daily Telegraph. In the wake of a successful bid for 4G-suitable spectrum in February this year, Ian Livingston has been cited as saying that it is ‘highly possible’ that BT-branded SIM cards would be made available in the coming year. The report notes that BT invited tenders from UK cellcos last month with a view to forming a 4G partnership, though the telco has yet to confirm any developments in this area; O2 UK has, however, been suggested as the favourite to bag the contract, in part due to it historical ties to BT, having been spun out of the group in 2002.

Meanwhile, Mr Livingston also revealed that, alongside offering coverage via a mobile operator when customers are outside their home, BT’s own 4G network would potentially provide improved coverage in homes via its new ‘Home Hub’ Wi-Fi router. The operator’s network of public Wi-Fi hotspots is also expected to be upgraded to provide 4G access, with the executive claiming that such technology deployments would complement any deal struck with a mobile operator for outdoor coverage.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), O2 UK