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    BT.A   GB0030913577

BT GROUP PLC

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BT : Britain's BT to phase out 3G in next two years as it ramps 5G

07/14/2021 | 06:29am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Company logo is displayed at British Telecom (BT) headquarters in London

LONDON (Reuters) - BT, the owner of Britain's EE mobile company, said on Wednesday it would phase out 3G in the next two years to free up airwaves to help bring 5G to the entire country by 2028.

BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera said demand for mobile capacity was rising by 40% every year, and BT had switched on its 5G network in 160 towns and cities since it launched in 2019.

Traffic had more than quadrupled on its 5G network since October, when the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 launched, he said.

While 4G and 5G demand continued to rise, traffic carried on older 3G and 2G networks was declining, he said. Less than 3% of data and 25% of voice traffic was carried on 3G in March.

"EE is the first operator to set a time frame to stop supporting 3G services in early 2023, with customers supported to move off it in a phased transition in the months ahead," he said in an online presentation.

The end of 2G services, which are now 25 years old, would follow later in the decade, he added.

Third generation mobile technology, which launched in Britain in 2003, offered a jump in data capacity, enabling internet access on mobiles.

Operators spent an eye-watering 22.5 billion pounds ($31 billion) buying 3G spectrum in Britain in 2000 at the peak of the dotcom boom.

After the bubble burst, operators scaled back the speed of deployment of the new services.

BT said its 5G network would cover 50% of the UK population by early 2023, four years ahead of the government's target.

By 2028, EE's 5G network would cover more than 90% of Britain's landmass, Allera said, and anywhere beyond that would be served by "requestable" 5G solutions, such as a satellite connection.

($1 = 0.7222 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Michael Holden)


© Reuters 2021
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Financials
Sales 2022 21 102 M 29 101 M 29 101 M
Net income 2022 1 639 M 2 261 M 2 261 M
Net Debt 2022 18 390 M 25 361 M 25 361 M
P/E ratio 2022 9,18x
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Capitalization 15 330 M 21 118 M 21 141 M
EV / Sales 2022 1,60x
EV / Sales 2023 1,62x
Nbr of Employees 99 700
Free-Float 74,2%
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Number of Analysts 23
Last Close Price 154,70 GBX
Average target price 198,36 GBX
Spread / Average Target 28,2%
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Managers and Directors
Philip Eric Rene Jansen Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Simon Jonathan Lowth Chief Financial Officer & Executive Officer
Ulrica Fearn Group Finance Director
Jan Petrus du Plessis Chairman
Howard Watson Chief Technology Officer
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