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BT introducing 4G for businesses ‘within weeks’

Consumer 4G network will be arriving next year.

By Vinod

BT has revealed that it will soon introduce 4G packages for its business customers as it looks to keep pace with the UK mobile market.

Speaking to CNET, a spokesperson confirmed a 4G business network would be launching "in the coming weeks’, and that the company would also be launching a new consumer service by next April.

The new BT Mobile for Business plans, promising 99.7% network coverage across the UK, will run on EE’s existing 4G infrastructure and will include the latest handsets from the likes of HTC, Samsung and Sony.

Promising "the best possible connectivity whether in the office or on the move," BT has launched a site where businesses can pre-register for the services now, with further details being revealed in the coming weeks.

The launch marks BT’s first 4G services since it acquired a slice of the UK spectrum for £190m last year. A choice of packages will be available to businesses, offering different amounts of minutes, texts and data usage, but all will include unlimited BT Wi-Fi minutes. Businesses will also be able to tailor shared minute plans for between 5-500 employees, and there will also be BlackBerry-specific packages on offer.

The site also explains how 4G services can provide a number of benefits for companies, such as allowing employees better use of mobile data way beyond email and calendaring, as well wider business improvements such as better quality videoconferencing.

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BT will look to combine EE’s 4G services with its existing Wi-Fi and Fibre broadband infrastructure, as it looks to offer a fast and reliable network for businesses. EE’s 4G network currently covers more than 200 towns and cities across the UK, and 70% of the population.

The company has also expressed intentions to re-enter in the mobile market soon and "shake up" the market with its technologies. BT has not been involved in the UK mobile market since 2005, when it sold off its BT Cellnet business to Telefonica, which would eventually become O2, and believes it will take two years for its mobile offering to become a complete "inside-out" network.

Earlier this week, BT said it would be hiring 1600 engineers across the UK as it looks to improve its services, after coming under severe criticism from customers for its unrepaired faults and slow internet installation.

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