Vodafone ends talks with BT for new contract

Vodafone has bowed out of negotiations to provide a mobile service to fixed-line operator BT Group, Reuters reported Monday.

Vodafone has bowed out of negotiations to provide a mobile service to fixed-line operator BT Group, Reuters reported Monday.

Vodafone has provided BT with mobile services for the past nine years but was in the running for a new agreement.

Talks over the contract were dropped after Vodafone acquired rival fixed-line business Cable & Wireless, bringing an end to their long-standing partnership.

Vodafone's withdrawal is expected to leave Telefonica's O2 and EE, owned by France Telecom and Deutsche Telecom, in the running for the BT deal.

Telecom companies have been vying for a partnership with BT after it won a large amount of spectrum at an auction to secure Britain's superfast fourth generation (4G) mobile airwaves.

The 4G service will allow the company to boost its wifi offering and to launch a full BT-branded mobile service to consumers.

"We can confirm we are making good progress with our tender for a mobile partner," a BT spokesman said.

"The 4G spectrum we obtained recently means we have a strong hand and that has been recognised in the bids we have received to date. We hope to conclude the process in the coming months and we will comment further when the tender has been concluded."

BT Group's shares rose 0.99% to 317.10p at 14:30 Monday while Vodafone fell 0.56% to 196.60p. Vodafone is due to deliver its full-year results on Tuesday.

RD

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