O2 enters the fray to offer broadband with its purchase of Be

O2 is the latest ever-expanding mobile network operator to add broadband provider to its list of services after acquiring Be for £50 million.

Be is one of the smaller broadband providers, but has garnered attention from O2 because it is rolling out its own network across the UK. It's based on ADSL2+, offers speeds up to 24Mbps, and plans to expand to install in 400 exchanges by the end of the year.

Although it's not clear yet what the broadband package from O2 will be, it may be along similar lines to the "free" broadband offered by the Carphone Warehouse through TalkTalk.

By buying up internet service providers who are installing their own networks in BT exchanges, mobile internet service providers can offer broadband cheaply.

The competition between the mobile service providers can only be good for consumers who will see more bundled packages roll out offering mobile phone service along with fixed-line and broadband service.