April 11, 2016
BT’s incoming chief executive, Ian Livingston, is considering plans to deploy a WiMAX network in the UK, when he takes over from Ben Verwaayen in June.
A move into WiMAX would build on BT’s success with its Wi-Fi offerings – it operates an MVNO network in a joint venture with Vodafone, and was joint owner of one of the first UK mobile networks, BT Cellnet, which was spun off in 2001.
However, it would mark a significant change in strategy for BT, which has made broadband and IT services it main focus under Ben Verwaayen’s leadership.
If BT does decide to go ahead with its WiMAX plans, it could take advantage of Ofcom’s auction of radio spectrum which is planned to take place this summer.
BT has not yet decided whether to bid, but the spectrum would be suitable for WiMAX technology.
Some industry players are concerned that the current growth in mobile broadband could adversely affect WiMAX takeup.