BT’s recent developments

I would like to come back on the development of BT in the UK. You may remember I posted on BT a few months ago, when it decided to select a new Mobile partner to review its mobile offering in the UK after acquiring 4G spectrum.

Since my earlier post, BT finalized the execution of its new strategy: as you may have heard, BT has selected EE (instead of its former affiliate O2) as its Mobile Network Operator partner in October. And you may expect BT would ramp up its mobile offering during the year 2014, both towards the business customers (in a fixed mobile convergence strategy) and possibly towards the residential market.

The strategy is not limited to UK, but seems to spread to European markets where BT is active: BT announced last month too that it had become a full MVNO in Italy with Telecom Italia. The pattern seems for BT to become a high speed convergent fixed-mobile operator in the markets where it operates.

 

And specifically for UK, BT is able to come back as a formidable player for both mobile and fixed accesses, for business as well as residential customers.  However to be successful, BT needs to fully execute its strategy by developing an attractive offering to accompany its technical high speed network services roll-out. That is where last week’s announcement  that BT would pay over £ 1 billion  for the acquisition of the broadcasting rights in the UK for European football cups matches for 3 years starting 2015, in addition to its current Premier League  rights, is a milestone.  BT develops key content that indeed fits its  high speed network service offering , combining DSL/fibre fixed services with its WIFI and potentially its coming 4G offering, for which live European cup football matches will be the killer application to launch or boost those services.

 

It will be interesting to watch how BT will be executing its strategy to become-again- the dominant fixed and mobile broadband player in the UK, while developing a fixed-mobile convergence strategy for business customers in other European markets: while contents currently need to still be national, like the football example, there are clearly economies of scale BT can take advantage of while deploying a mobile full MVNO infrastructure for its European operations, integrating fixed-mobile convergent services: maybe another clue of the coming European telecom market that the EU Commission is looking for.

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