BUBBLY MOBILE OPERATOR O2 has announced plans to team up with BT to support its upcoming 4G rollout.
O2 said on Monday that thanks to a new 10 year agreement between the two firms, BT will build a new high capacity transmission network to help it "stay ahead of the continued explosion in mobile data traffic," possibly because O2 scored the least amount of spectrum in the recent 4G auction.
O2 has also roped in BT to help increase its backhaul capacity by delivering high speed mobile backhaul links between its mobile base stations and the new transmission network.
Adrian Di Meo, CTO at O2 UK said, "With the UK's 4G spectrum auction complete, UK mobile data traffic is set to grow by more than 400 per cent by 2016.
"This is a huge opportunity for us, as well as a technical challenge. But through our partnership with BT Wholesale, customers of O2 will be backed by a high-performance mobile internet network which we believe will release the potential of 4G services and result in unrivalled mobile phone and internet browsing experiences."
However, BT has been quick to point out that the deal with O2 has nothing to do with the 2.6GHz spectrum it acquired during the 4G auction earlier this year, despite rumours speculating otherwise.
There are also online whispers circulating saying that BT might be plotting to launch its own 4G services later this year.
"We won some excellent 4G spectrum just recently so it makes sense for us to explore the new opportunities that 4G presents," BT said to the Financial Times last week. "We have a strong position in the WiFi market and we are looking to build on that."
There's talk that BT is searching for a mobile operator to partner with for 4G, so we won't be surprised to see O2 and BT extending their partnership later in the year.
O2 plans to roll out its 4G services in the third quarter. µ