BT reportedly plans to provide consumer mobile services in the UK as part of a quad-play strategy which would make use of 4G spectrum it acquired last year, along with its broadband network and pay-TV service.
Sources told Financial Times that the company will be able to compete with mobile operators by offering low-cost bundles that include mobile services alongside fixed phone services, broadband and TV.
Offers will apparently be launched for businesses by the end of 2014, with consumer services following soon after.
BT recently signed a long-awaited MVNO agreement with EE, which will see the UK’s largest mobile operator offer “various MVNO” services to BT’s customers and employees in the UK on an exclusive basis. BT said it will also build up its Wi-Fi presence for consumers through the partnership.
In addition, sources said BT is looking to make its mobile proposition an extension of its superfast broadband by upgrading its existing Wi-Fi home hubs to use femtocell technology based on the 4G spectrum it acquired last year.
BT is also believed to be in early talks with handset makers regarding the supply of devices.
The company could cross-subsidise bundled offers on services, allowing it to offer lower prices for its mobile services than operators.
BT Vision, the pay-TV service, is in a strong position, having secured the rights to broadcast Premier League football, while BT fixed home lines are still widely used, despite a decline in demand.
Analyst firm Berenberg believes BT could offer a SIM-only deal with unlimited voice and SMS for as little as £3 per month, with £4 charged for every gigabyte of data.
BT is also likely to offer longer-term contracts which include smartphones and mobile data bundles covering the home, according to the sources.
The UK telco hasn’t offered consumer mobile services since its 2002 spin off of Cellnet, which became O2 and was subsequently acquired by Telefonica.