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British Telecom has taken full control of BT Cellnet by acquiring the remaining 40% from Securicor for £3.1bn, which will enable BT to bid for one of the next-generation mobile phone licences next year.

Cellnet has announced plans to set up a new regional call centre in Bury, Greater Manchester, with the creation of 2,000 jobs.

Cellnet is changing its name to BT Cellnet and aims to create 1,500 jobs over the next year, mostly in Scotland and Yorkshire.

Cellnet has confirmed the acquisition of an 80% stake in Martin Dawes Telecommunications for £130m, and is interested in buying the remaining 20% from Vodafone.

Cellnet has started work on the expansion of its customer care centre in Leeds, which could eventually create up to 700 new jobs.