BT to launch UK 4G mobile network within the next year
After securing a slice of the UK 4G spectrum earlier this year, telecoms giant BT has confirmed plans to get back into the mobile industry by launching its very own 4G mobile network.
Speaking to The Telegraph recently, CEO Ian Livingston spoke of the company’s plans to incorporate mobile into its business once again. BT has already been chatting up other UK mobile networks in an attempt to form a strategic partnership, and Livingston believes it’s “highly possible” that a 4G network will be available within the next year.
The company will go up against the established likes of Three, O2 and Vodafone, who all have secured 4G spectrum and have plans to launch 4G networks of their own as soon as this summer, but whether it can attract customers away from these known brands will remain to be seen. BT bought three lots of 2.6GHz spectrum for £186.5 million which will enable it to broadcast 4G to mobiles and tablets across the UK.
By offering a 4G mobile network BT will become a company like Virgin Media, offering home phone, mobile phone, TV and home broadband services in a four-way entertainment package. Whilst Virgin wasn’t a winner in Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction, it already has plans to share 4G signal with its signal supplier, Orange.
A super speedy 4G mobile network will of course compliment BT’s equally fast fibre optic home broadband network, and will give the company leverage to use various marketing ploys to offer a bundle of fast and capable digital services.
BT of course used to be a major player in the mobile market with its BT Cellnet network, which was rebranded as O2 back in 2002. It recently signed a deal with O2 to help provide their 4G network, so it looks likely that the partnership will work the other way around to help BT’s own 4G network get off the ground.
BT also recently launched BT Sport in a bid to take on Sky Sports, offering free viewing of English Premier League and European football as well as Rugby, Tennis, MotoGP and more on laptops, tablets and smartphones.