BT overhauls consumer business with bid to combine mobile and broadband

BT Centre in Newgate Street London. Image credit Vismedia

BT Centre in Newgate Street London. Image credit Vismedia

Crucially the new 'Best Connected' plan is not a simplistic bundling of services, it's much more radical than that and will play to the strengths of both BT's fixed line ADSL, FTTC, FTTP network and EE's mobile (4G / 5G) infrastructure in order to provide "seamless connectivity" via a smart converged network by 2022 (supported by hybrid technology to dynamically combine both sides). BT's Ultrafast broadband comes with a unique guarantee of speeds of more than 100Mbps. It is also launching supplier-agnostic support for smart home devices through partnerships with the likes of Hive, Google, Apple Homekit and Alexa.

Consumer will also increase mobile customers" "Time on 4G' to 99% by 2020, and be first to market with 5G mobile to complement 4G.

Marc Allera, the chief executive of BT's consumer arm, unveiled the shift towards the "convergence" of mobile and fixed line networks alongside a broader shake-up of the business as he merges it with the mobile operator EE.

The package will be launched next week as a premium offering, expecting to come in around £80 per month.

BT says its Plus customers will benefit from the fastest speeds from BT on broadband and mobile.

Allera said the firm is building a "single core network" meant to support a wider range of converged products will be ready by 2020 across BT's fixed and mobile assets.




Meanwhile EE will seek to be the first United Kingdom network to offer a superfast same-day smartphone delivery and expert set-up service, which will launch in London first, and they'll boost their customer support via augmented reality (AR) customer service tools, EE Remote Support and EE Virtual Support. That means expert help in call centres and stores across the United Kingdom, the most personalised and easy-to-use web, app and chat experiences, and even face-to-face support in their own homes. BT will also be returning to the high street across the United Kingdom throughout 2018, providing customers with BT products and advice in EE's expanding footprint of more than 620 retail stores.

All of BT's call centres are due to follow return to the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2020, after a similar move by EE improved customer satisfaction.

The bonded network technology is just one element of a much wider strategic realignment that is now getting underway at BT Consumer, created to position the entire organisation as a national communications provider of choice. As part of this, BT customers will enjoy a range of new experiences this year - from the latest content to new app experiences that give customers more flexibility on how and where they watch their favourite content.

On top of that BT TV will include the Amazon Video (Prime) app in addition to Netflix and customers will also be able to access NOW TV (Sky) from 2019. As well as offering access to Prime Originals such as The Grand Tour, The Man In The High Castle and Lucifer, the new BT TV app will also allow customers to download and plat content on the move for the first time. "Arguably, the biggest partnership announcement is with Amazon", he said.

The new converged services will be branded BT Plus and are scheduled for commercial launch next week.

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