Feeds

O2 says Be mine for £50m

Enters UK broadband market

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

O2 is splashing out £50m to buy tiddly LLU outfit Be as part of an ambitious plan to offer broadband alongside its own mobile services.

Be only has about 10,000 customers - but that's not why O2 is buying the broadband operator. Instead, the cellco is interested in Be's infrastructure.

Based on ADSL2+, Be's network offers speeds up to 24 meg, and so far it's installed its kit in around 150 BT exchanges and plans to take that number to around 400 (serving half of the UK population) by the end of the year.

O2's plans are less clear-cut. For the moment it's business as usual, but at some point Be will be rebranded as O2. Exactly when remains unclear and O2 doesn't seem to be in too much of a rush.

It's also still too early to say how O2 will bundle its new broadband service - but it's possible by that time consumers will have tired of "free" broadband offers and opt for a more value-for-money approach.

O2 UK chief executive Matthew Key said: "This acquisition will enable us to take advantage of technology innovations to offer a wider range of joined up mobile, internet and content services for our consumer and business customers in the future."

News of O2's entry into fixed line telecoms should come as no surprise. Last month the cellco - the former mobile division of BT spun off from the incumbent five years ago and bought by Telefonica last year for £18bn - confirmed it was keen to offer fixed services.

At the time, its options were either buy a telco, build its own network, or opt for a wholesale option. Now, O2's strategy is clear. But it also means that Vodafone - which is also keen to enter the fixed line world - is now favourite to jump into bed with Cable & Wireless.

C&W recently announced its decision to pull out of retail broadband (via its Bulldog ISP) and become a wholesale provider of LLU services instead. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.