It was reported in May that BT could make a return to the mobile sector with a new consumer network offering. Now it seems those plans have moved a step closer, with its announcement of a deal with EE to supply mobile network services to customers and employees. And that includes 4G.

The contract is yet to be signed, but EE will provide the services exclusively, and this allows BT to consider relaunching its own mobile network in the future.

Previously, BT chief executive Ian Livingston said that it was "highly likely" his company would begin to market its own-brand 4G SIM cards in 2014. Today's statement adds that it plans to build on the current Wi-Fi service it offers to consumers, presumably with 4G data connectivity too.

"BT currently provides a range of mobile services, primarily to large corporates, the public sector and small and medium-sized enterprises. For consumers, it has a strong wi-fi presence that it plans to build on," says the British firm.

How much a service might cost, or what BT is paying EE for network services is unclear. It would be also interesting to discover whether the Ofcom proposal to dramatically increase the licence fees for 3G and 4G bandwidth will be accounted for.