BT is about to launch its own 4G service, as the telecoms giant steps fully back into the mobile arena, with plans to aggressively price deals to enable it to steal turf from rival network operators.
According to a report in the Telegraph, BT is due to make the move in the middle of this week, so we might hear something as soon as Wednesday.
The service will be called BT Mobile, unsurprisingly, and will see the firm become an MVNO, using EE’s network – with BT having signed a rental agreement before the acquisition came to the table (BT is of course in the process of snaffling EE for a cool £12.5 billion – subject to regulatory approval).
There are caveats, though – to begin with the BT Mobile service will just be offered to existing BT broadband users, and it will be a SIM-only affair. As the Telegraph notes, there’d be no point attempting to set up the infrastructure to distribute actual handsets, when BT is going to get all that through the acquisition of EE anyway.
Competing networks will doubtless be watching very carefully to see where BT pitches pricing, but according to sources, BT won’t be launching quite such a full-on assault on pricing as was first feared – mainly because the telecoms giant has more to lose with such a tactic now, given it’s taking EE on board.
It will still undercut the big rival players such as O2 and Vodafone on 4G tariffs, though, by all accounts.
BT is expecting the EE deal to go through before the close of its 2015/16 fiscal year, with £360 million per year estimated to be saved in terms of combined operating cost and capex synergies, four years after the deal.
Consumers will, of course, be able to pick up better deals if they take on quad-play bundles which BT will be able to offer.