BT confirms 4G network launch

We knew it was a successful bidder on the 4G auction and we heard it was looking for a partner for its 4G plans. But only now has BT confirmed its plans for a 4G network in the UK.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston, talking to the Daily Telegraph, said it was 'highly possible' BT-branded SIM cards would be in smartphones this time next year, perhaps as part of a wider package of services, which will include communications as well as television.

BT has invited tenders from mobile operators to form a 4G partnership but did not confirm its plans. BT has an existing partnership with Vodafone, which provides 3G mobile service to business customers, but rumours abound that O2 is its preferred partner of choice.

As for the service itself, Mr Livingston said that as well as offering coverage via a mobile operator when customers are outside their home, its 4G network would provide better coverage in homes via the new Home Hub, BT’s Wi-Fi router.

'We can build effectively an internal, very cheap 4G network,' he said, which would reduce the cost of using 4G to download data indoors, including when customers are not in their own home. BT’s network of public Wi-Fi hotspots would also be upgraded to provide 4G access.

Mr Livingston said it would offer consumers savings compared with other 4G networks as most do not download large amounts of data on the move, but in cafes, airports and other locations where a BT hotspot is likely to be.

More to come on this, but it sounds like BT is look to ruffle a few feathers in the 4G market - which has got to be good news for us, the consumer.

Source: Daily Telegraph

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