BT's share price climbed this morning as it completed its £12.5bn takeover of EE today, in a deal that makes it the biggest telecoms firm in the UK.
The deal, which gives BT instant access to around one in three mobile phone customers in the UK, is expected to help pave the way for the telecoms giant to launch its consumer-facing mobile offering, nearly 15 years after spinning out its BT Cellnet mobile business back in 2001.
Shares in BT were up 2.2 per cent in early trading.
Although BT already had an agreement with EE to use its network, the acquisition "leaves BT in a strong position to lead the telecommunications sector in the UK," according to Imran Choudhary, senior analyst at Kantar Worldpanel.
He said: "Moving into the mobile market is a must for BT to defend its premium services which are increasingly threatened as other players enhance their triple and quad play offerings.
“The purchase means BT will be able to make use of EE’s 600 plus stores on the high street, giving them a crucial presence which the telecoms giant has lacked since closing its own stores around 20 years ago."
“Consumers should see some real benefits as others follow BT’s lead with quadplay offers. The next 12-18 months are likely to bring plenty of value-driven propositions as other networks and providers compete to retain customers in the face of this new challenge.”
Some have suggested that BT will get rid of the EE brand following the acquisition, however BT had indicated that it will remain.
However, BT is not completely out of the woods. Analysts expect rivals including TalkTalk, Sky and Vodafone to keep up the pressure about hiving off fixed line network Openreach, with Ofcom yet to make a decision on that score. It is thought a decision could come as soon as February.
A recent report recommended that it be sold off.
But it's not competition issues that are weighing heavy on consumers' minds - there's something more prosaic, but essential, that people were calling out for this morning.
Let's hope customer service improves https://t.co/OpVoaTLcQ0— Wayward Lad (@wayward_lad) January 29, 2016
EE cocked up the customer service transition when it took over Orange. Let's see what triumph BT manages.#r4today— Ed Wilson (@eddwilson) January 29, 2016
@EE you are a crap company and its no wonder BT have bought you out— matt hodgson (@DjflavaMatt) January 29, 2016