BT returns as MVNO

British Telecom has returned to the UK mobile telephony market as a virtual network operator (MVNO). The former parent of mmO2 will buy network capacity from its newly independent subsidary and target users of its portal with flexible tariff options.

Users will be provided with tariff suggestions based on the number of minutes they plan to spend calling landlines and mobiles each month and how many text messages they anticipate sending. The service will be called BT Mobile Sense.

Pierre Danon, chief executive officer of BT Retail, said: “Mobile Sense is not a mass-market offering, but it does represent a practical and low-risk first step into the consumer mobile space. I have said previously that we would not enter the consumer mobile sector unless we had something which brought a new dimension to this already competitive market. With this product, we have a unique proposition that gives our online customers complete control over what they are charged, even allowing them to change their pricing packages every month if necessary. Mobile Sense from BT is a perfect fit within our strategy. It aims to deliver what the customer wants and is centred around our website, through which we are encouraging more and more transactions to be made online. This is an opportunity with high-potential for BT, from which we are expecting to generate the majority of the targeted GBP 44 million of consumer and other new mobility revenues by 2004/05.”


BT already has fixed line billing relationships with tens of millions of consumers in the UK. It is a logical move to offer mobile services too. However, the company will be restricted by the UK’s effective regulatory framework in how highly it can leverage this advantage. That mmO2, the former BT Cellnet, is ranked third out of the four major British operators is evidence that the UK’s regulatory system is working.

Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.

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