BT "hit by Wi-Fi issues" ahead of consumer 4G LTE mobile launch

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BT is focusing on launching its consumer 4G LTE network using its MVNO with EE, after reports the operator is experiencing issues with the handover between cellular and Wi-Fi.

The UK operator’s return to the consumer mobile market is planned to happen during this financial year, some months after it launched its enterprise proposition.

A report in the Daily Telegraph claimed BT had hit issues with carrying voice and data traffic over its Wi-Fi network, rather than through its MVNO.

The story claimed BT was having problems with handing over calls and data sessions between Wi-Fi hotspots and the MVNO network. The operator is believed to be keen to focus heavily on its Wi-Fi network in order to reduce the amount of cash it pays to MVNO partner EE.

In a statement, a BT spokesperson said: "We have always been very clear that it will take the best part of two years to develop our consumer femtocell service and this remains the case.”

He added that the operator was planning to launch its consumer service using the MVNO during this financial year but made no reference to whether Wi-Fi would be used during the same timescale.

Last month, EE said it was experiencing issues with its forthcoming VoWi-Fi service but stressed it was still on track for a 2014 launch.

Director of Network Services Tom Bennett told Mobile Europe that the service, which is currently being trialled, is "currently not working well enough". He said: "There's 25 years of voice to reinvent onto an IMS infrastructure."

Read more:

BT sets out new customer service focused strategy, outlines mobile plans 

Access all areas: Inside EE's VoLTE, VoWiFI test centre