BT has signed a 10 year wholesale deal with O2 to support the operator's forthcoming launch of 4G services.
O2 had raised eyebrows when it emerged with the lowest amount of spectrum from the recent 4G auction, despite it having the second largest number of customers in the UK. BT said it will build a new high capacity transmission network, which will provide O2 with the capacity it needs to satisfy the continued boom in data traffic. It will also swell the amount of backhaul available to O2 and move the operator from its legacy TDM technology to ethernet-based IP services.
Adrian Di Meo, chief technology officer at O2, said: 'With the UK’s 4G spectrum auction complete, UK mobile data traffic is set to grow by more than 400 per cent by 2016. This is a huge opportunity for us, as well as a technical challenge. But through our partnership with BT Wholesale, customers of O2 will be backed by a high-performance mobile internet network which we believe will release the potential of 4G services and result in unrivalled mobile phone and internet browsing experiences.'
Chet Patel, managing director for BT Wholesale Markets, said: 'Our network solution will help O2 to deliver a next generation mobile experience to their customers to fully exploit the exciting possibilities of 4G technologies. We are moving quickly to get O2 up and running.'
BT was expected to wholesale out the spectrum it acquired at the 4G auction earlier this year. The deal reunites the two companies, as O2 was spun off from BT in 2002, when it was known as BT Cellnet.
Author: Graeme Neill