Internet provider Plusnet has today announced that they’re finally adding a 4G based Mobile service to their portfolio of broadband, phone and TV products, which will be born out of the acquisition of LIFE Mobile’s customer base on 29th November 2016.
The move into mobile is hardly a surprise given that their parent, BT, recently merged with mobile network operator EE for £12.5bn. Similarly LIFE Mobile is also a part of the EE business and clearly some sort of deal has been worked out to support their transfer into Plusnet’s hands.
The LIFE Mobile website currently has a related FAQ Page online, although it doesn’t shed much light on the development except to confirm that existing customers will be offered an optional range of new 4G plans under the new Plusnet Mobile brand. We’ve also found the T&C’s for Plusnet Mobile, but the products aren’t yet showing on their main public website.
LIFE Mobile FAQ Page (Extract)
Why are LIFE and Plusnet joining up?
LIFE Mobile have joined forces with Plusnet to make sure that our customers continue to get great value tariffs along with award-winning customer service. We’ve worked together to make fantastic 4G plans which will be available to you. Plus you’ll have access to more great value products and special offers – we’ll tell you more about these over the coming weeks.
What does this mean for my contract?
On 29th November, you’ll officially become a Plusnet Mobile customer and your contract will be transferred to Plusnet plc from EE Limited trading as LIFE Mobile.
All this means is you’ll pay Plusnet Mobile instead of LIFE Mobile and all the services you get will be provided by Plusnet.
We’ve also worked with Plusnet to create simple, easy to understand terms and conditions. We both wanted to give you as much notice of these as possible, so these won’t take effect until 1st January but a copy is available here.
Will I need to do anything on 29th November?
There’s nothing that you need to do. The switchover will be seamless!
On 29th November, your mobile service will continue as normal and you’ll still be able to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web. The only changes you’ll see are the network carrier name changing on your mobile from LIFE Mobile to Plusnet, and emails about your account coming from Plusnet Mobile instead of LIFE.
Upon closer inspection we’ve been able to find a pre-registration page for the new service, which lists a pre-launch special offer tariff that promotes 4GB of data with unlimited minutes / texts for £10 per month (normally £15) on a 30 day contract. The full list of plans is as follows.
Plusnet 4G Mobile Plans (30 Day Contract)
500MB + 250 Mins + 500 Texts = £5 per month
1GB + 1000 Mins + Unlimited Texts = £7.50 per month
2GB + 1500 Mins + Unlimited Texts = £10 per month
4GB + Unlimited Mins + Unlimited Texts = £15 per month
The above 4GB special offer plan appears to sit roughly in the middle of BTMobile’s own 2GB and 15GB plans (note: currently BT’s 2GB plan is being offered with 4GB of data to existing broadband customers for £10 per month, or £15 to everybody else). Mind you it’s a shame that Plusnet haven’t included any plans with bigger data allowances, which may be more attractive to users of a home broadband ISP like Plusnet.
Andy Baker, CEO of Plusnet, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting moment in our company’s history. True to our Yorkshire roots, Plusnet has always prided itself on offering customers more for less, and extending our offering to include a mobile service is a natural next step as we move to become a full-service quad-play provider.
With the launch of Plusnet Mobile, we’ll be helping more people stay connected on-the-go with our fantastic data-packed deals and highly competitive rates.”
The BT owned ISP recently reported a record profit after tax of £43.5 million (up 35% on last year) and a 13% growth in customer numbers, which is despite having a semi-rocky year of network migration woes and some issue with waiting times for telephone support. Plusnet is now home to 1,000 staff in Sheffield and another 200 in Leeds.
In separate news Plusnet’s trial of IPv6 has been stalled after the provider informed customers that they were in the process of decommissioning the old ‘AG gateways‘ (e.g. pcl-ag01, ptw-ag02), which is occurring as part of the process for relocating a lot of their “old” broadband infrastructure/handover to new data centres.
“Sadly, this means the IPv6 trial accounts we dished out back in 2013 are going to break. You’ll still be able to use them for IPv4, but it’s unlikely IPv6 is going to work properly until we get the opportunity to revisit the v6 config on the relocated BNG’s,” said Plusnet’s Bob Pullen (here). The ISP has yet to make any firm commitment to IPv6, but they’ll probably want to get the network migration work completed first.