BT may well be pushing forward its plans for launch of consumer 4G services. Niall Dunne (pictured), BT Group’s chief sustainability officer, said the UK fixed-line incumbent was looking toward the “back of the year” for a consumer 4G proposition, while LTE wholesale services are scheduled for the summer.
Previous media reports indicated BT was planning a 4G launch for businesses by the end of 2014, with consumer services following later.
Dunne, speaking at Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen this week, added that BT was “keeping its cards close to its chest” on exactly what the consumer 4G proposition would look like.
There’s plenty of speculation, however, that the UK operator is keen to develop a quad-play strategy, bundling mobile with broadband, phone services and BT Vision. (BT has spent lavishly on TV rights for English Premier League football and other sporting events in an attempt to lure BT Vision subscribers).
And in March, six months after BT pencilled an MVNO agreement with EE – the UK’s largest mobile operator – the fixed-line incumbent announced that the contract had been signed.
Under the “multi-year agreement” EE will provide “various MVNO” services – on an exclusive basis – to BT’s customers and employees in the UK.
BT previously had an MVNO agreement with Vodafone, targeting business customers. According to press reports, however, the agreement was nullified following Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (a fixed-network rival to BT with a string of enterprise customers).
As well as continuing to provide mobile services to business customers, BT said it plans to build on its “strong Wi-Fi presence” for consumers through the EE partnership.