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02 set to take on former parent BT at own game

Written by: Staff

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) 02 Chief Executive Peter Erskine said on Friday the Telefonica unit was likely to offer customers fixed-line services across its territories in the future, effectively taking on 02's former parent firm BT.

''It is very possible that we will be learning from what we have done in Germany and the Czech Republic and doing similarly in the rest of our business,'' Erskine told reporters during a conference call.

''We do believe although convergence has been talked about for many years, it's now what customers will want,'' he added.

Erskine said 02, which already runs fixed-line operations in Germany through Telefonica Deutschland and the Czech Republic, would look at both the possibility of buying a fixed-line business in its core British market as well as the option of leasing network capacity from former UK state owned monopoly BT.

''We are playing all the horses and working out which is the one for the short term and the long term.'' REUTERS MP HS1703

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