BT struggling with handover issues between Wi-Fi and 4G networks?

6 Oct 2014

British fixed line incumbent BT is reportedly facing technical issues that could see its return to the consumer mobile market delayed, The Telegraph reports, citing unnamed sources at the company. It has been claimed that BT is struggling with technology designed to ensure that as much voice call and data traffic as possible is carried over Wi-Fi networks, rather than via a 4G mobile network. With BT aiming to undercut the nation’s incumbent cellcos on price, such technology is critical for BT as it would enable it to keep the cost of providing its wireless voice service low by carrying the bulk of traffic on its infrastructure rather than via EE’s mobile network; BT has a deal to rent capacity from EE to help fill in coverage gaps between its 5.4 million Wi-Fi hotpots. According to the report, however, BT has had trouble with the ’handover’ between Wi-Fi and the mobile networks, with a source noting: ‘The handover is absolutely essential for BT to do what it wants to do with mobile. It’s possible the launch will slip into the second quarter of next year now.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), EE