BT overhauls consumer business with bid to combine mobile and broadband

BT logo outside of offices in the City of London Britain

BT logo outside of offices in the City of London Britain

BT is launching its new BT Plus plan next week which brings together home broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi capabilities into one converged plan, with one simple bill. EE broadband customers also enjoy data boosts on their EE mobile plan, with up to 20GB of mobile data that they can gift to family members on the same account.

There's also a new "Flex" mobile plan.

Such a service could theoretically come into its own for users in those remaining parts of the United Kingdom that receive fixed broadband speeds of under 10Mbps, where adding a 4G connection - note that EE now claims to cover 90% of the United Kingdom population geographically - would bump up their speeds to over both the Ofcom and government definitions of superfast broadband. The hybrid technology ensures customers are always connected, as one technology will take over the other in the unlikely event of a fault.

Paolo Pescatore, vice-president of multiplay and media at analyst group CCS Insight, said the update set a new course for the consolidated BT Consumer unit, which was created in September 2017 when EE was folded into BT Consumer, having previously been run as a standalone business unit since its acquisition.

This latest technology will harness the power of EE's 4G network and BT's fixed fibre to offer customers fast speeds and a more reliable connection.

By 2020, all customer service calls will be answered in the United Kingdom and Ireland, whilst BT Stores will return to High Streets, presumably leveraging floor space from the extensive EE Store network. EE's new Smart Home range will be available online, in select EE stores and over the phone from 1st June 2018.

"Customers are using more data in more places on more devices than ever before".

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The point is apparently to offer BT punters the best combination of services across its three United Kingdom consumer brands: BT, EE and Plusnet. Wi-Fi and mobile will combine to give BT customers the most reliable connectivity in the United Kingdom, both on the go and indoors.

And what will matter a lot will be TV content and the new move will see BT TV become the first United Kingdom company to include the Amazon Prime Video app as part of the EPG delivered through its set-top box.

Along with this new home broadband there were plenty of other announcements from BT and EE.

BT has pledged to bring all its call centres back to the United Kingdom and Ireland and is planning a converged broadband and mobile network as part of raft of announcements for its customers.

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

Combined with the brand's return to the high street, the executive expressed hope that the move would turnaround customer experience and perceptions. "However, we reiterate our belief that at least one will be dropped in the medium to long term".

At the time of writing it's already been suggested that if your fixed line went down then the 4G would take over and adopt an "unlimited" data allowance, which could create a big strain on capacity during major fixed line outages in busy areas (we've asked if any limits would be applied to performance etc).

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