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BT to make waves with mobile re-entry

Having spun off mmO2 in 2001, BT is leaping back into mobile - and is rumoured to have some innovative plans
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor
BT is poised to shake up the UK's mobile phone sector this week, when it unveils its plans to re-enter the market nearly two years after the sale of its mobile operation.

The UK's dominant telco is widely expected to say on Tuesday that it is teaming up with T-Mobile to offer mobile services to businesses and consumers.

BT already sells some mobile services under the BT Mobile Sense brand in partnership with former mobile arm mmO2. A new partnership with T-Mobile is likely to see BT attempting to raise the profile of the Mobile Sense brand and aggressively push for new customers.

Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail, will disclose details of BT's new mobile strategy at an event on Tuesday morning titled "Making sense of mobile". A BT spokesman declined to speculate on the details of the announcement on Monday.

Reports suggest that BT has ambitions to be more than just a virtual mobile operator that resells capacity on T-Mobile's network. Instead, the telco is thought to be planning to integrate Wi-Fi and GSM, with an eye to delivering voice calls over the Internet.

As ZDNet UK reported last October, BT Openzone -- the firm's Wi-Fi arm -- is keen to bundle GPRS into its Wi-Fi service.

According to UK newspaper The Business, BT is also working on roaming technology that will let users make calls over any of the UK's mobile and Wi-Fi networks depending on what is the cheapest for them.

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