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Is BT set to buy mobile network 3?

In a bid to bring ever-greater convergence to the gentle BT-using public, the telecoms giant looks set to re-enter the mobile phone market.

Sources (brought to you by the Guardian) say that informal talks have taken place between T-Mobile, 3 and BT to create a joint venture.

One option is for Hutchinson Whampoa, owner of 3, to sell the network, which may prove beneficial as it has struggled to make a profit in the years since launching.


BT is under pressure from its shareholders to become part of the mobile revolution as increasingly larger numbers of users are moving from fixed line to mobile options. Many users are also eschewing home broadband in favour of a dongle to use on the move.

BT sold its Cellnet arm back in 2001 after falling into debt, but it may now be ruing that decision as it has struggled to find purchase in the market since.

BT Fusion was launched back in 2005, but failed to make a dent in the market and a similar fate appears to be befalling the BT ToGo service, which is designed to make use of Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.

We'll have to wait and see what kind of deal will emerge from these talks... but BT needs to get it right before it falls too far behind in the mobile revolution.