Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

BT Plus will grant you unlimited mobile data when your Wi-Fi goes down

BT and EE show their post-merger road map with hybrid data connections for all BT Plusnet and EE sitting in a tree
Jean Garcia | 16 May, 2018, 23:42

Asked to what extent the strategy was about BT positioning itself as a consumer-focused business (instead of a struggling enterprise company with a flagging share price), Allera said: "What [was] announced last week [about the] company vision and strategy, [showed] convergence is important for enterprise as well".

This confirmation backs-up details that emerged in an earnings presentation in May, where BT chief executive Gavin Patterson is reported to have said "We will look to have a commercial 5G product launched in the next 18 months".

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.

BT's consumer converged package "BT Plus" is meant to bring together home broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi capabilities into one converged plan.

"We're beginning our journey to create one converged, smart network built on our world-leading fixed and mobile networks - going beyond 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi and ultrafast broadband to seamlessly connect our customers wherever they are to the things that matter most to them".

On Wednesday it set out a strategy from consumer boss Marc Allera to offer seamless services such as supercharged broadband to provide customers with faster speeds and a hub offering the best TV content to counter BT's image of a former telecoms monopoly dogged by bad customer service.

If you prefer the less personal, personal touch, there's also AR customer service including remtoe support and virtual support, which will allow users to troubleshoot with an expert who isn't flying blind.

Still smarting from last week's dismal annual results, BT today made a raft of announcements for its consumer group, including a converged broadband and mobile network. From 2019, customers will be able to access Amazon Video as well as Netflix and Now TV, giving a huge offering.

For Smart Home lovers, EE will offer compatibility with all the major Smart Home infrastructures including Hive, Google, Homekit and Alexa.

Senate panel releases details from its Trump Tower meeting probe
The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting has been central to those probes. They worked out who should sit where, and I sat next to Mr. Politics, I knew nothing about".

The BT Consumer division has also announced a number of other improvements, such as a new self-service app from Plusnet, an aim to answer 100% of BT customer calls in the UK & Ireland by the end of 2020, the addition of BT products to EE's expanding footprint of more than 620 retail stores and a commitment to increase mobile customers' Time on 4G to 99% by 2020.

BT is also boosting the power of its public Wi-Fi - the UK's largest public Wi-Fi estate, with more than 12,000 premium hotspots offering.

Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS insight, said: "This growing unit is very well positioned to be a leader in the changing United Kingdom multiplay market".

Allera insisted the move to put a BT presence in EE high street shops will complement EE's products, rather than competing with it via BT Mobile. "More importantly the new structure and strategy provides better clarity on the future direction of the consumer segment which has been in limbo for some time".

"The three distinct brands remain and for now clearly cater for specific segments".

We will also be interested to see how a bonded 4G and fixed line broadband network will work in practice, not least with respect to potentially improving overall data speeds for those on slower lines but also in terms of managing usage allowances (fixed lines tend to be unlimited while mobile is usually capped) or port forwarding flexibility when playing online video games.

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.

The Amazon partnership, he said, could turn around BT's fortunes given that BT TV has recorded losses for the past two quarters and subscriber growth has been lacklustre in recent years.

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