BT considering mobile return
November 24, 2014
By Colin Mann
UK telco BT has responded to recent press speculation relating to a potential transaction involving cellco Telefónica UK (O2) in the UK, the business it sold to the Spanish telco in 2005 for £18 billion (€22bn). Such a move would make BT a full quad-play operator, restoring mobile to its voice, broadband and TV operations.
“We continue to develop our own plans for providing enhanced mobile services to business and consumer customers, in line with our previous announcements. We remain confident of delivering on these plans and have also been exploring ways of accelerating them, including assessing the merits of an acquisition of a mobile network operator in the UK,” it said in a regulatory Statement.
“We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business. All discussions are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur,” said BT, adding that a further announcement would be made if and when appropriate.
In February 2013, Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc) was a successful bidder in Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction, winning 2 x 15 MHz of 2.6 GHz and 1 x 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz (unpaired) at a base price of £186,476,000.