BT has confirmed that it will make a bid for EE’s mobile network.
Merging with EE and acquiring its 24.5 million mobile customers would transform BT into the UK’s biggest mobile network. The buyout plans do not appear to include BT taking on EE’s home broadband customers.
Details are thin on the ground right now but a BT statement says that customers will benefit from ‘seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, WiFi and 4G’.
The idea is that mobile customers will connect to the BT network when at home or within reach of one of the 5.4 million BT Wi-fi public hotspots and transfer to the EE network when on the move.
EE itself has been experimenting with WiFi calling and VoLTE – voice over 4G – and the handover between WiFi and cellular connections, research that would no doubt come in handy should BT and EE’s owners come to an agreement.
BT says it intends to make a cash offer of £12.5 billion to EE owners Orange SA and Deutsche Telekom, as well as a number of shares in BT. The deal as it stands right now would see Orange gain a 4 per cent stake in BT and Deutsche Telekom a 12 per cent stake, as wel as the power to appoint one member of BT’s Board of Directors.
BT’s inside out plans won’t likely be scuppered if the proposed merger with EE falls through, merely slowed down.