BT ditches Vodafone for EE in MVNO deal

Telco confirms deal is to go ahead, five months after details of it first emerged.

BT

BT has confirmed plans to partner with mobile operator EE to provide its customers with access to 2G, 3G and 4G services.

The multi-year deal will see EE provide mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services to BT customers and employees has now been finalised.

BT had a similar deal in place with Vodafone to provide business customers with access to mobile services, who will now be transferred over to EE instead.

In a statement, BT promised to "carefully manage the change from its current MVNO provider to EE to ensure a seamless transition for customers."

At the time of writing, BT had not disclosed how long it anticipates the switchover from Vodafone to EE for business customers to take.

Even so, the announcement is sure to fuel speculation that BT is planning to embark on a renewed push into the consumer mobile market, having spent several years providing similar services to the enterprise, public sector and SMBs.

The firm largely exited the consumer mobile market a decade ago after spinning off its Cellnet brand in 2002 and renaming it O2. It was later snapped up by Spanish operator Telefnica.

David Dyson, CEO of rival mobile operator Three, told the Wall Street Journal it was too early to predict how BT's deal with EE would impact the market.

"There is already a very healthy MVNO market [in the UK] with Virgin and Tesco. It's an extra competitor that comes in [with] a fairly large retail customers base already."

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