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O2 gets into fixed line with BT

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O2 will start offering business customers fixed line telecoms services from October.

Ben Dowd, business sales director at O2, said both small businesses and larger corporates were moving towards integrated services and joined up systems. He said many firms do not want the hassle of dealing with lots of different suppliers. He pointed to the welcome given by small businesses to the one number service which reroutes calls made to a landline to a mobile.

Dowd said early pre-sales showed medium-sized firms especially felt a "lack of love from their current suppliers".

O2 is working with BT Wholesale on the deal, and Dowd said that getting that agreement in place had taken about 12 months, but the company was now happy with the service offered.

He refused to give specific targets but said he hoped O2 would get a decent slice of what it believes is a £12bn market.

The deal shows how one man's paradigm shift is another's circular argument. O2 started life as BT's mobile arm, originally known as Cellnet. In the early 2000s, in line with the craze of the time and in a bid to shore up BT's balance sheet, the wireless arm was spun-off as an independent company, only to be gobbled up by Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica in 2006. ®

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