BT reckons that its buyout of EE could be complete by March next year – if the competition regulators give it the green light.
The UK’s biggest ISP has called on the CAM (Competition and Markets Authority) speed up its review of its bid for the UK’s biggest mobile network and move to the next stage of its enquiry.
BT’s chief executive Gavin Patterson has also hinted that more MVNOs – mobile virtual network operators – like TalkTalk Mobile, Giffgaff and newcomer FreedomPop – could be created as a result of the buyout.
Related: BT Mobile’s SIM-only deal is the cheapest way to get BT Sport yet“A larger BT will be able to invest and innovate even more than now, something that’s good for jobs and good for customers,” said Patterson.
“The acquisition will lead to greater competition, given our history as a natural and willing wholesaler, enabling other companies to use the networks we own.
“We provide wholesale access to companies in the broadband market and we are happy to support others who wish to compete in the mobile market as well.”
BT currently has an MVNO agreement with EE – BT Mobile, which lets customers get BT Sport streams for free on phones, already uses EE’s signal.
Like Virgin Media and TalkTalk, BT wants to offer customers quad-play packages, broadband, TV, mobile and landline phone calls.
To an extent, it already does this in that all of the current BT Mobile plans are £5 cheaper if you’re an existing BT customer, but it doesn’t currently offer punters big bundles like Virgin Media’s Big Kahuna and Big Easy.
Should the CAM agree to fast track the review of BT’s EE shopping spree, this could see the deal signed, sealed and delivered by the end of March next year. This could accelerate rollout of BT’s plans to boost mobile reception in customers homes with an ‘inside out’ network, a plan which will undoubtedly be helped by the arrival of EE WiFi Calling.
The CAM will announce a decision in three weeks’ time.