Business briefs: BT | BP | Rolls–Royce

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TELECOMS giant BT will return to the mobile phone market within a year through the launch of its 4G services.

Ian Livingston, BT’s Scots-born chief executive, told a Sunday newspaper that his firm will once again go head-to-head with rivals including Everything Everywhere – which owns the Orange and T-Mobile brands – and FTSE 100 peer Vodafone.

BT divested O2, its previous mobile phone business, in 2002 through an initial public offering. O2, which had been launched as BT Cellnet, was taken private in 2005 through a £17.7 billion takeover bid by Spanish rival Telefonica.

• Oil giant BP has withdrawn some non-essential staff from Libya after the UK government warned about deteriorating security in the capital, Tripoli.

The British embassy said on Friday it was cutting staff due to growing unrest in the capital, where armed groups seized two government ministries late last month to press demands on parliament, heightening fears of violent clashes in Tripoli.

A deal to hand over the foreign ministry to a committee was reached late on Saturday, ending the sieges, but it was not clear whether the armed groups would leave the capital for good.

• Engine maker Rolls-Royce is to sponsor the Bloodhound project to break the world land speed record.

A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine is being used by the team in an attempt to travel at more than 1,000mph.

Next year, the Bloodhound team is hoping to travel to South Africa to break the current land speed record of 763mph. The next target would then be the 1,000mph barrier.

Although Rolls-Royce’s engines have been used for previous land speed records, this marks the first time that it has sponsored such an attempt.

• Wall Street analysts believe broadcast TV networks in the United States will have to settle for the lowest increases in their advertising rates for three years when the “upfronts” selling season begins this week.

The “big four” networks – ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC – face increasing competition from streaming services such as Netflix and hit shows on cable TV, such as AMC’s zombie thriller The Walking Dead and A&E’s reality show Duck Dynasty. Upfront rates will rise by about 6 per cent, as the broadcasters book some $9 billion (£6bn) worth of adverts.