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back to article BT and O2 ink deal to build mega 4G network

BT has reached out to its prodigal child O2 and offered to help build it a flashy new 4G network - for a few hundred million quid. It has signed a 10-year deal with O2 owner Telefonica UK to work on a 4G network which will be used by millions of O2 mobile customers. The deal is said to be worth around £500m over the next decade …

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BT: a company that previously trialled systems offered by Phorm.

Telephonica: a company whose Brazilian branch is currently trialling systems offered by Phorm.

I don't think either of them can be trusted.

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Anonymous Coward

BT also slyly bought some spectrum in the recent sale, which left everyone wondering what they planned to do.

They paid £186m and this deal is worth £500m, not a bad little earner.

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More importantly than that, perhaps, O2 bought very little spectrum in that recent auction, to the extent that I have been wondering how they would then manage to build a high enough capacity LTE network for their customer's needs. If this deal with BT allows O2 to use BT's 2.6GHz spectrum, O2 will have no longer have this problem.

As to why O2 didn't simply buy the spectrum in the auction, I have absolutely no idea. Is some sort of remerger between the two companies on the cards?

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Facepalm

BT knows best

Hmmmm, O2 eh? A partnership, Hmmm. What could they call it? Mmm, O2 ... lets see, oh I can't be bothered, lets just go with that then shall we MMO2. Yes, great name that - a real first in technical excellence, and a great testament to BT's vision for the future.

MMO2. Oh, wait ...

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I wonder if it was related to the way the auction was structured. If O2 had bid for all the spectrum itself, it a) might not have won as much, and b) might have paid more overall.

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FAIL

4G ????

Hey O2, any chance of anything more than Edge in my city?

What happened to 3G or are you just missing that out completely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4G ????

Do you live in Bath? Only get E there for a while now.

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4G - Why?

Why would we need 4G? to watch crap films or play pointless games or even "interact" with some no hoper who cannot make friends face to face.

What I would like is good solid voice and maybe 3G wherever I go in the UK, within 20km of Cardiff (4G in the centre) I can't even get voice on large lengths of the railway line.

Pete

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Re: 4G - Why?

Bus. Train. Long journey. Youtube.

I know you might have a car, but some of us do the public transport thing quite regularly. HSPA is okay, just about handles a HQ Youtube video, but it'd be nice to make that a lot more than "just about."

First person to accuse me of eating up everyone's bandwidth or being some kind of subhuman for daring to want entertainment on an hour or two of bussing around, gets told to bugger off back to the 1980s.

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1. Lower latency. Not important to everyone but a nice bonus.

2. Higher capacity per mhz of spectrum. This is the key, it allows cellcos to either sell you the same amount of gb for less, more gb for the same price or pocket the difference and go on a serious junket. This is after paying back the extra for the spectrum, equipment and additional backhaul. In theory, since its unlikely they will want to drop arpu, they will sell roughly the same amount of data for the same cost for a while at a lower acpu paying back the cost of the spectrum, then offer more gb for the same price as the rollouts complete.

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BT building a “4G backhaul network” for O2

Good piece here http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/April2013/bt-steps-up-interest-in-4g-mobile-network.html

Basically, expect BT to share it's spectrum with O2 and gain (retain?) O2's backhaul network business. this will give BT a network with national reach on which to launch it's own services that complement it's existing range of services for fixed and wireless broadband. Suspect that part of this new network will be used to achieve the national broadband rollout...

This contract probably also positions BT to pick up backhaul network business from the other operators.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BT building a “4G backhaul network” for O2

Good thinking ... "also positions BT to pick up backhaul network business from the other operators"...

O2 and Vodafone recently reached an understanding on the use of each others masts (not frequencies). Now.. one mans back haul is much like any others onces its been plucked out of the air.. and I suppose why pay for two when theres already one there...?

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Re: BT building a “4G backhaul network” for O2

BT might, but its spectrum is useless for voice, only for data (which doesn't exclude an agreement). The original thinking was BT's spectrum would be used to fill in gaps in the ftth \ fttc network. Rural areas where deploying more infrastructure would be cost prohibitive due to the sheer volume of civils work per door passed. Now should they allow o2 to use their spectrum in return for deploying a mobile broadband on it and cross selling network capacity on both networks. I expect BT to use it's spectrum one way or another, likely for targeted mobile broadband but theres nothing really stopping them blanketing the country with the help of another celco like o2.

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Population coverage - not area coverage

"rolling out 4G to 98% of the population by the end of 2014". So plenty of not-spots and probably marginal in most rural areas. Usual story.

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PCX
FAIL

total rip off

and it will all drain your 1 or 2gb data allowance in minutes. So they can get more and more money off You !

What's the point for LTE without reasonable data allowance?

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Re: total rip off

My guess is that will come in time, one the costs of the spectrum purchase and rollout have been paid down. You are entirely correct, right now there is little incentive unless you need and are willing to pay for the additional speed and lower latency. In a couple of years time we should hopefully see data allowances increasing and costs roughly staying the same. Especially if 3g spectrum can be refarmed. When 3g came out the situation was similar, at least in the UK, there was a big song and dance about video calling, but data costs compared to gprs were similar. In time they came down per gb.

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