EE's parent companies, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, have confirmed talks with BT about a possible sale of the network to the broadband giant.
"Deutsche Telekom and Orange are having highly preliminary exploratory discussions with BT, although it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur," said Orange on behalf of both companies.
"Deutsche Telekom and Orange will make further announcements if and when appropriate."
The statement follows an announcement earlier this week by BT confirming that it had held discussions with O2, and a second mobile operator, about a potential deal.
"We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business,” BT said.
“All discussions are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur.”
O2 also confirmed that the talks were taking place in a post to the London Stock Exchange.
“Telefónica informs that, although conversations with BT are taking place, those are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction may occur with such company,” O2 said. “A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”
Nevertheless, Stephen Hartley, practice leader for service provider and markets at analyst house Ovum, told V3 that BT is clearly looking at the operators to complete its offerings in the communications market.
“We want broadband and we want it anywhere, any time. From a service provider perspective it’s about trying to deliver connectivity as seamlessly as possible. You want the same offering across fixed and mobile devices,” he said.
“It also enables firms to offer bundled services, so customers become more loyal because they have all their services from you. This helps reduce churn and keeps more people on your networks.”
Hartley added that O2 and EE have selling points that will give BT pause for thought. "EE is bigger and has the better network technically, and it has huge spectrum holdings, but O2 is probably a neater fit and would probably be cheaper," he said.
However, EE's success in the UK market could persuade its two parents, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, to sit on the brand and see how its success develops.
"It's all like a game of Risk really. You have the discussions but nothing may happen."
BT faces numerous decisions as it considers either O2 or EE, with analysts split on which company would make the better buy for the company.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago