Rumour mill: BT in partnership talks with T-Mobile UK and 3

Having been firmly dismissed by Deutsche Telekom, speculation over T-Mobile UK's future has gone quiet as the parent company seems prepared to rebuild its poor-performing UK mobile subsidiary.

However, reports are beginning to circulate that BT, T-Mobile UK and 3 have had informal discussions about some form of partnership that might involve common branding, costs and revenues. Adding weight to these latest reports is the matter that both T-Mobile and Hong Kong-based Hutchison 3 are keen to look at new revenue streams for their businesses in the UK.

BT would be in a position to potentially help these two mobile operators by adding a highly successful fixed network, albeit that BT has just announced dire financial results with plans to make 15,000 employees redundant. However, having sold its Cellnet mobile operations in 2001, BT has made assorted attempts to re-enter the cellular business and presently has a wholesale deal with Vodafone that has attracted a small number of business subscribers.

BT's new CEO, Ian Livingstone, who took over from Ben Verwaayen in 2008, has ordered a strategic review for the cell phone business, and is known to have ambitions to become more involved in the mobile sector.

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