BT should decide whether to launch a takeover bid for EE by Christmas, the Chief Executive of Orange has claimed.
As reported by the Financial Times, Stephane Richard - who heads up the French telecoms group - said BT is likely to make its mind up in the coming weeks.
BT has been in discussions with both EE - which is owned jointly by Orange and T-Mobile - and O2 with a view to a potential acquisition.
The former national telecoms operator has made no secret of its desire to re-enter the mobile market in the near future, in order to offer quad-play broadband deals.
It looks like BT will buy either EE or O2 - both of which offer 4G services in the UK - in order to meet this objective.
The two mobile broadband providers have shown a willingness to talk terms with BT, with Orange and T-Mobile - who each own a 50 per cent stake in EE - saying they are open to a sale.
Mr Richard told attendees at a conference in Paris that "BT has its own calendar".
"You should know more a few days before Christmas," he stated.