BT makes a start on 4G mobile plans

Broadband, phone and TV provider could follow in EE's footsteps by launching a similar 4G mobile service.

BT is looking for a mobile provider to help it launch a 'superfast' 4G service.

The telecoms giant wants a network operator such as Vodafone or EE to provide a mobile phone service for BT customers, complete with next-generation mobile broadband, reports the Financial Times.

BT recently spent almost £200million on the radio spectrum or 'airwaves' needed to provide 4G, which has speeds at least five times faster than the 3G mobile internet currently used by most phone owners in the UK.

BT said: "We can confirm we're looking for a fresh partnership with a mobile operator. We won some excellent 4G spectrum just recently, so it makes sense for us to explore the new opportunities that 4G presents.

"We're rolling out fibre at breakneck speed and it's obvious customers want decent speeds when they're out and about as well as at home."

It's possible that BT will partner with O2, which BT owned until 2001 - back then it was known as Cellnet - before it was bought by its current Spanish owner, Telefonica.

At the moment, EE is the UK's only major provider offering 4G mobile broadband, but its rivals - including O2, Vodafone and Three - are expected to follow suit this year.

EE recently announced plans to boost the capacity of its 4GEE service, taking its top speed to 80Mb and doubling the average speed customers actually receive to at least 20Mb. The new 'enhanced' 4G will be switched on in 10 cities by summer.

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