O2 has announced a partnership with BT that will allow it to offer fixed-line as well as mobile services to customers, enabling the firm to become a one-stop communications provider.
The move is part of O2's new Joined Up communications service, due for launch in October, through which it aims to offer a single converged solution for businesses of all sizes.
"This will give them the opportunity to outsource telecommunications to a single trusted supplier," said O2 business sales director Ben Dowd.
By using a single supplier, customers can reduce complexity and make cost savings, according to Dowd.
He referred to research by O2 which showed that almost half of UK businesses have not reviewed their telecoms spending in the past two years, which means that they are probably not getting the best deal.
Dowd claimed that O2 is winning over customers from rival providers with its approach, and said that O2 has already signed up two large UK companies, a retail outlet and a manufacturer, but declined to name them.
"They are not being given a lot of love by their incumbent suppliers," he said.
Under the terms of the agreement, BT Wholesale will provide O2 with fixed-line voice and data capabilities as a managed service, enabling O2 to offer mobile, fixed line and broadband professional consultancy services to customers.
The Joined Up communications initiative will see the firm offer a suite of services, tailored to each customer's requirements, Dowd said. This includes the ability to have a single number for fixed and mobile calls, if they wish.
Smaller customers can also choose O2's Fixed Number Anywhere service, announced in July, which lets them keep their BT landline number but diverts all calls to their mobile handset.
However, Dowd said that "one bill and one supplier for all communications is what customers say they really want, and we are well positioned to have that conversation with them".
O2 was formerly BT's mobile division, BT Cellnet, until it was spun off from the company in 2001. It was acquired by Spain's Telefónica in 2006.
Dowd said that it is "interesting going into partnership with BT", but stated that the reasons for choosing BT Wholesale were based purely on its being the best provider available.
BT currently provides mobile services to its own customers through a partnership with Vodafone, but Dowd poured cold water on suggestions that the new tie-up with O2 might see his firm take over this deal.
Meanwhile, Vodafone recently unveiled its own fixed-mobile converged service, also using BT to provide the fixed line capability.
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