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March 25, 2015

BT to offer Aggressive Pricing with 4G Offers on return to Consumer Mobile

BT_LogoBT returns to the consumer mobile market, offering a range of discounted 4G tariffs to its broadband customers using a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on the EE network it will soon own.

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The price plans are offered on a SIM-only basis, although a 4G-enabled handset can be purchased from the company, and any BT broadband customer can get up to five discounted tariffs on the same bill. Non-BT customers can also get the service, although it will cost £5 more a month.

The cheapest deal is £5 a month for 500MB of data, unlimited texts and 200 minutes of calls and the most expensive is £20 for 20GB of data, unlimited texts and minutes. All allow users to access the BT sport application and the five million hotspots that make up the BT Wi-Fi network.

John Petter, director of BT consumer, said:

Offering BT customers the UK’s best value 4G data deal is a great way to start our journey towards re-establishing ourselves as a major player in consumer mobile. We are offering 4G on the UK’s biggest network along with unlimited access to the most extensive Wi-Fi coverage via our 5m BT Wi-Fi hotspot network. Our customers are consuming increasing amounts of data and they want the best possible connection wherever they are. It’s our ambition to meet this demand by combining the power of our fixed fibre service with Wi-Fi and the convenience of mobile.

Steven Hartley, analyst at Ovum said:

Ovum does not expect BT’s new consumer mobile proposition to change the UK market – yet. We see this more as a statement of strategic intent rather than a major push into mobile.

BT promised to launch a consumer mobile service before the end of its financial year and, with a week to go, it has hit that target. However, it is a first step on a strategic path that will become much more assured upon the completion of its proposed purchase of EE. The UK is moving to a quad-play market and rivals will need to respond.

BT’s offers are aggressively priced, reflecting a much more favourable wholesale deal through EE than BT ever managed with Vodafone. However, the main emphasis from BT is on SIM only plans sold to existing BT customers, which will limit the addressable market. Given that most 4G handsets in circulation today are still under contract this reduces the pool of potential customers. BT will offer handsets, but these are limited to just four options and do not include ‘hero’ devices such as the iPhone or Samsung S6. It will also sell to non-BT Broadband customers, although much of the promotion and the sales channels proposed will be targeting existing customers.

Like Three, BT will still have to get the deal past the Competition and Markets Authority, which could take up to a year to report.
Source: BT Mobile | BBC Tech

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini