BT sizes up joint bid for French UMTS licence

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

British Telecom is considering a bid with France Telecom's mobile arm, SFR, for a French UMTS licence. In an interview in French national newspaper, Les Echoes, Pat Gallagher, director of strategy and development at BT, said the company wouldn't consider an independent offer. Instead, he claimed any bid would be made through its partnership with Vivendi. The news comes a day after speculation arose that BT has re-entered talks with Spanish telco Telefonica - following the resignation of Telefonica's CEO, Juan Villalonga. Insiders said Villalonga had blocked a previous attempt by insisting he head up the joint venture. It is also claimed he favoured an alliance with Deutsche Telekom rather than BT.