BT could start selling SIM-only consumer 4G mobile services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) this week, with reports saying that the former UK incumbent will initially focus on its 7.6 million broadband customers.
BT's rivals are pressuring Ofcom to break up the former incumbent as part of the regulator's latest review into the UK's digital communications market, which Ofcom opened on Thursday (Mar. 12).
BT this week made further progress in its bid to buy mobile operator EE for £12.5 billion (€16.8 billion/$19 billion), raising £1 billion in a share placing on Thursday to help fund the deal.
BT has agreed to definitive terms to buy mobile operator EE from existing owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom for £12.5 billion (€16.7 billion/$19 billion), bringing to an end the first phase of a process that is set to turn the former UK incumbent into the market's biggest converged provider of fixed and mobile telecoms services.
TalkTalk was quick to praise the success of its new quad-play strategy after reporting year-on-year revenue growth of 4.2 per cent in its financial third quarter (calendar Q4), but the UK-based operator also indicated that the cost of acquiring new subscribers for combinations of its mobile, broadband and TV products would hit earnings in the full year.
Quad-play or multi-play strategies got another airing this week, as one operator hailed its success in bundling fixed, mobile and TV services together and another raised doubts again over the appetite that consumers are likely to have for such service bundles.
BSkyB became the latest provider of TV and fixed broadband services to throw its hat into the mobile ring in what is regarded as a largely defensive move, after the satellite company signed a wholesale agreement to use the network of Telefónica (O2) UK.
Hutchison Whampoa faces a fight in its bid to acquire the UK mobile assets of Spanish incumbent Telefónica, with reports stating TalkTalk and BSkyB (Sky) are also circling O2 UK.
Telefónica may have been offered a lifeline regarding its UK mobile operation by rival Three UK's parent company Hutchison Whampoa, as the Hong Kong-based company seeks to expand its European business.
TalkTalk has set a goal to offer 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services to 50-60 percent of UK homes and business premises via its partnership with CityFibre and Sky, a move that will enable it to lessen its dependency on BT's Openreach last mile network.