BT Group seeks new mobile phone partner

BT Group is seeking a mobile phone partner to boost its services in consumer and business markets.

BT Group is seeking a mobile phone partner to boost its services in consumer and business markets.

The group plans to use spectrum for faster fourth generation (4G) mobile services to get a better deal on its wholesale agreements with wireless carriers.

Vodafone Group is bidding for the mobile services alongside Telefonica's O2 and Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom's British venture EE, sources told the Financial Times.

"We can confirm we're looking for a fresh partnership with a mobile operator. We won some excellent 4G spectrum just recently so it makes sense for us to explore the new opportunities that 4G presents," BT said.

"We have a strong position in the WiFi market and we are looking to build on that."

Its search for a new partner comes after it paid £186.5m for a spectrum that can carry 4G mobile signals in the UK. BT was the only fixed-line carrier to win access to the airwaves in the bidding, which raised £2.34bn.

It is also understood BT is looking to connect customers using voice and internet services on devices in and out of the home.

BT has opened the tender to all operators but a reunion with 02, the mobile operator that it spun off 12 years ago, looks most likely, according to people familiar with the situation.

RD

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