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BT overhauls consumer business with bid to combine mobile and broadband

16 May 2018

EE is launching new converged ultrafast home broadband plans over broadband (FTTP, G.fast) and 4G, which include 4GEE Backup and Home Move, keeping customers connected if there are issues with their connection or when they're moving house.

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.

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.

EE is becoming the first United Kingdom network to support all major Smart Home ecosystems with new, strategic partnerships with Hive and Nest plus a wide range of smart cameras, thermostats, sensors and lighting - providing options for customers whether they prefer Hive, Google, Apple Homekit, or Alexa smart home ecosystems. BT's Ultrafast broadband comes with a unique guarantee of speeds of more than 100Mbps.

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

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. Wi-Fi and mobile will combine to give BT customers the most reliable connectivity in the United Kingdom, both on the go and indoors.

EE Hybrid Broadband will use multipath transmission control protocol (TCP) technology to bond both BT's fixed broadband network and EE's 4G network in a single box.

A new "emotional" advertising campaign will aim to restore the BT brand after years in which marketing focused entirely on price promotions while the company faced mounting criticism over broadband speeds and reliability.

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.

And BT's Keep Connected Promise means that if ever there is a fault with a customer's home broadband, BT enables unlimited data on their BT mobile plans and will send a 4G Wi-Fi Mini Hub with unlimited data so the customer can stay connected while their broadband is repaired or installed.

The point is apparently to offer BT punters the best combination of services across its three United Kingdom consumer brands: BT, EE and Plusnet. 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.

Speaking at an event in London, BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera said: "We made some tough choices last week as a group, but we are reinvesting in networks and services, which is what our customers want".

The BT brand will also muscle into 620 EE high street shops to promote its own consumer products, while the biz said it would bring all its call centres back to Blighty to boost its often-criticised customer service record.

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.

Among its many consumer ambitions, BT also announced a partnership with Amazon for its telly services, already having a partnership with Netflix and previously announcing a tie-up with its rival Sky for Now TV.

To provide customers with the most exciting products and experiences, Consumer is also launching a new business unit dedicated to partnering with the most innovative companies in the world.

There's no official release for this new service but it could arrive in homes within the next few years.

BT overhauls consumer business with bid to combine mobile and broadband