Vodafone drops out of the running for BT partnership

(Source: Reuters)

Vodafone has pulled out of talks to partner with BT leaving O2 as the firm favourite of just two network providers still in the race.

Our telecoms reporter James Titcomb:

BT currently runs a mobile service for its 90,000 staff as well as its business customers using Vodafone’s network, although the contract has been ditched following Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable and Wireless Worldwide, a rival to BT, last year.

Vodafone’s departure, reported by Reuters, now leaves just O2 and EE, the owner of Orange and T-Mobile, in the running, with the UK’s fourth operator, Three, not interested in the contract.

BT’s chief executive Ian Livingston said earlier this month that he may launch a consumer mobile offering, the first time BT will have been in the market since it sold off O2 in 2002.