BT to help build O2’s 4G network as it searches for operator partner

UK incumbent BT has signed a ten year deal with mobile operator O2 to support its launch of 4G LTE services. BT will build a high capacity transmission network for the Telefónica subsidiary as O2’s roll out of 4G services later this year is expected to place even greater pressure on its network.

The managed network solution from BT Wholesale will provide O2 with the network capacity required to support the increasing demands of customers choosing its planned 4G services, said BT.

BT also said it will provide O2 with a sizeable increase in backhaul capacity by delivering the mobile backhaul links between its base stations and the new transmission network. The new transmission network will also help O2 migrate from legacy TDM to Ethernet based IP services, according to BT.

Meanwhile BT has announced that it is looking to partner with a mobile operator to provide services for its own staff and for its BT Retail enterprise customers. An agreement with Vodafone ceased after Vodafone acquired BT rival Cable and Wireless for £1bn in July last year.

BT maintained it has no plans to offer LTE services to consumers despite having splashed out £200m on 4G spectrum in the UK’s February auction, and added that its latest deal with O2 is “completely separate” to its search for an operator partner.

“The announcement about us looking for a mobile operator partner is for our own staff and the customers we sell to via BT retail – particularly SMEs and large enterprise customers to whom we sell managed mobile services,” a BT spokesperson told

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.


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