The older readers among you might recall a time when O2 was actually part of BT, as BT Cellnet. The two went their separate ways in 2002 and O2 was born, before being snapped up by Spanish telecoms behemoth Telefonica in 2005.
Things are potentially on the verge of going full circle, with BT confirming that it’s in early talks concerning the takeover of two UK mobile networks, one confirmed as O2.
BT has issued an official statement in response to a story that initially appeared in Spanish media, suggesting that – as part of the O2 takeover deal – Telefonica would acquire a 20% stake in BT.
"We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business," reads BT’s statement.
"All discussions are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur."
It’s thought that the second network in question is EE. Of course, BT recently declared EE its network of choice for corporate customers and staff, severing ties with Vodafone.
It was presumed that a BT consumer mobile service would follow, piggybacking EE, but things are very much up in the air.
Ultimately, BT wants to be come a “quad” player, offering TV, mobile, landline and broadband services.