BT has been granted permission to bid for a third generation mobile license later this year and to increase its stake in UK mobile phone operator Cellnet.
The Department of Trade and Industry said BT should be allowed to bid for a third generation mobile license, but that it must do so using a separate business that is not cross subsidised by its core business.
Third generation mobile systems will enable advanced services for mobile phones, such as high speed data and multimedia.
In order to create this separate business, BT has been given permission to increase it stake in Cellnet above the current 60 per cent ceiling. Securicor is currently Cellnet's other shareholder.
BT said it is continuing to consider its options, including the option of bidding for a thrid generation license as BT rather than through Cellnet.
BT said it welcomes the DTI's decision to lift the restrictions on BT acquiring Securicor's 40 per cent stake in Cellnet.
"However, BT is not in talks with Securicor to buy its minority shareholding," the company said in a statement.
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