Wither BT

Posted by Voipfone on January 9, 2015

BT buys EEI suppose the big UK telecoms news of 2014 was the announcement that BT is to buy Everything Everywhere.

I’m not sure where to start with this, but there has to be a rant about why the feck BT sold its own mobile network – née Cellnet, then BT Cellnet, then mmO2, then just O2 – in the first place. I say sold, but for the financially aware amongst you it didn’t actually sell it, nothing as profitable as that. No, it spun it out into a separate holding company. It was a demerger as part of its restructuring plan to rid itself of debts created by its staggeringly stupid international strategies of the 90s.

Dumping its mobile business was just piling stupidity on stupidity – BT lost its growth business and became the only major telco to have no mobile service, leaving the field open to its competitors Vodafone and Telefonica to not just run away with the mobile market, but also eat its traditional businesses. It was a Strategy 101 blunder. I feared for my pension.

Not satisfied with the stupidity of expensive, pointless, minority positions in JVs across Europe, it had also spent the 90s blowing a huge amount of cash not creating a multi-media business – that other growth area of the telecoms market, TV. BT spent most of that decade trialling and making the case for building the superhighway, then shelved the lot.

But in 2006 it launched BT Vision and mucked around ineffectually with it until in 2013 when it finally got serious and paid £897m for football rights.

So I now have strategic déjà vu. BT with a mobile network AND an almost credible TV product. Maybe my pension isn’t as fecked as it deserves to be given past history.

Sometime soon they’re going to notice VoIP…..

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