Reports today suggest BT is ready to re-enter the UK mobile market after selling off its O2 wireless unit five years ago.
A report in the Independent newspaper said the telecoms giant is expected to bid in a forthcoming spectrum auction, details of which were announced yesterday by telecoms regulator Ofcom.
It announced proposals of the largest ever sale of spectrum in the UK, launching a consultation period that is likely to attract speculation as to which advanced wireless technologies will prove the most popular draw to the sale for operators.
But the UK government is unlikely to generate anything near the £23 billion earned from the first 3G auction in 2000, particularly if the European Commission (EC) has anything to do with it.
The EC said Monday that it has asked Ofcom to review the methodology to calculate wholesale tariffs being charged by various 3G operators in the country. It said it believed O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Hutchison 3G were charging exorbitant rates for terminating calls between customers on various networks.
Ofcom had earlier this year recommended the implementation of cost-orientated tariffs, aimed at reducing mobile termination rates to target prices over a period of three years, starting April 2007.