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BT to Launch 4G MVNO Ahead of EE Takeover

Alex Spencer

BTBT is reportedly set to launch its own 4G MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), named BT Mobile, later this week – ahead of its take-over of EE.

The Telegraph reports that BT Mobile will use EE's network, the result of a deal made before BT signed to acquire the operator outright for £12.5bn last month.

Though the news does shed some light on the question why BT opted for EE over the other operators it was reportedly considering, it might seem strange that BT would launch an MVNO immediately before its own offering. Given that the EE acquisition is still being reviewed by regulators, and is set to be finalised in late 2015 or early 2016, this launch appears to be something of a temporary measure, giving BT a presence in the network space and re-establishing its brand on mobile in the intervening months.

This seems supported by the Telegraph's sources, which suggest that BT Mobile will initially only be offered to the company’s existing 7.6m broadband subscribers, and will not receive a heavy marketing push.

It's all part of BT's broader strategy to become a 'quadruple play' operator, with complementary broadband, landline and TV offerings that can be offered to customers as a single package.