Home
 » ISP News, ISP Special Offers » 
Sponsored

BT Goes Quad Play and Launch Cheap UK Consumer 4G Mobile Service

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 (9:07 am) - Score 5,461

BT has today taken the wraps off their new 4G consumer mobile phone service (BTMobile), which is underpinned by EE’s national network and will turn the United Kingdom’s largest telecoms operator into a quad-play monster. The new SIM-Only tariffs start from just £5 a month for their existing broadband customers (prices rise by £5 for non-BT subscribers), which is all good unless you demand data Tethering.

Admittedly we’ve been here before, over a decade ago in fact, when BT had the makings of a good thing going via the BTCellnet (mmO2) division. Sadly financial pressures, partly stemming from BT’s over-expansion during the 1990s, ultimately resulted in Cellnet being demerged in 2002 and then gobbled up by Telefonica during 2005, which adopted today’s better known O2 brand.

But over the past five years BT has repeatedly signaled an interest in returning to the mobile market (here) and last year they secured a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) partnership with EE, which replaced Vodafone. In the year before that they also grabbed a slice of the 2.6GHz radio spectrum band as part of Ofcom’s first 4G auction (here).

Since then BT has reached a £12.5bn agreement to merge with EE which, once completed (most likely by early 2016), will give them a significant advantage by being able to leverage their existing fixed line network to support the mobile platform (i.e. undercut their rivals by reducing service delivery costs). But in the meantime they can still proceed, albeit not to the level they’d ideally like, through the MVNO partnership.

The BT Mobile Plans

Initially BT appears to be offering three SIM Only plans (they will add handset bundles too, but only once the EE deal has completed) and as you’d expect these include access to their live BTSport TV channels / content and public WiFi hotspots (even if you’re not a BT Broadband customer). But crucially existing BT broadband customers will also benefit from a £5 per month discount and without that the tariffs look distinctly less attractive.

Each plan is based off a 12 month contract and also includes “family-friendly features“, such as the ability to set spending caps (avoid bill shocks) and the freedom to move between plans without taking out a new contract, even if customers want to move to a cheaper plan. Parental controls are also available, just the same as with other operators.

BT Mobile 500MB Plan
500MB Data
200 Minutes
Unlimited Texts

PRICE: £5 per month (£10 without discount)

BT Mobile 2GB Plan
2GB Data
500 Minutes
Unlimited Texts

PRICE: £12 per month (£17 without discount)

BT Mobile 20GB Plan
20GB Data
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts

PRICE: £20 per month (£25 without discount)

None of the plans are particularly impressive without the discount, although once you include that discount then they become a lot more competitive, including against Three UK (Three’s cheapest tariff is similar to BT Mobile 500MB, but costs £8 per month). Plus the BTSport and WiFi access features are very attractive as extras.

It’s worth pointing out that Three’s “all-you-can-eat” data plans start at the lower price (vs BT Mobile 20GB) of £17 per month, although this only gives you 200 minutes and you have to pay a lot more for unlimited minutes as well as unlimited data (£27). By contrast EE’s closest option gives you just 5GB of data from a hefty £27.99.

On the other hand TalkTalk’s SIM Only plans are a lot closer to BT Mobile, although they struggle to match in terms of data allowances and seem to max out at 700MB (this is where BT clearly seems able to pull ahead).

Apparently anyone in a BT Broadband household will be able to get the discounted price and a customer can have up to five mobile plans at the discounted rates for all of the family on a single bill.

John Petter, CEO 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.

These great value deals are a thank you from us to loyal BT Broadband homes. We are offering customers a new type of great value mobile deal that offers more than just data, minutes and texts.

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. Plus BT Sport and a discount of up to 50 per cent on your mobile tariff if you are a BT Broadband customer.

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.”

BT Mobile will also aim to harness the operators existing network of WiFi hotspots and home broadband routers, which will eventually be used to both improve indoor mobile coverage (Femtocell) and hand-off data / voice traffic via WiFi to save money (cheaper than using the mobile cell network).

Obviously BT’s rivals haven’t been taking the operators move lightly and the market is now awash with convergence focused consolidation. For example, Vodafone has pledged to launch their own consumer broadband products sometime this spring, while Sky Broadband has signed an MVNO deal with O2 to go quad play (expected next spring) and Three UK’s parent has separately made a move to buy O2.

Meanwhile the two existing quad-play operators, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, have already seen moderate to good success by offering a mobile service alongside their existing phone, broadband and TV products. Most traditional fixed line operators tend to see mobile more as a useful customer retention tool, while the primary operators of O2, Three UK, EE and Vodafone continue to hold the lion’s share of dedicated mobile subscriptions.

Only time will tell whether BT’s offering is enough to break the established market and in order to do that it will first need to work as both an attractive bundled and standalone solution. So far they appear to be off to a good start, at least if you’re an existing BT broadband subscriber.

It will also be interesting to see whether BT’s sibling, PlusNet, eventually follows suit to offer mobile services.

UPDATE:

Take note that the current BTMobile service does not allow Tethering, which is likely to annoy more than a few consumers; especially considering the data centric nature of their plans.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , , ,
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
16 Responses

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00
    Speed: 158Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo code: HYPERSALE
  • Virgin Media £25.00
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
New Forum Topics
»
»
Morecambe fttp
Author: Gingeee85
»
Huawei B818-263
Author: teleman6868
»
Anyone on Giganet?
Author: jalzoo
»
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 33Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo code: HYPERSALE
  • NOW £20.00
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £21.99
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £70 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (4127)
  2. BT (3154)
  3. Politics (2122)
  4. Building Digital UK (2028)
  5. Openreach (1970)
  6. FTTC (1923)
  7. Business (1836)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1608)
  9. Statistics (1513)
  10. 4G (1380)
  11. FTTH (1371)
  12. Virgin Media (1277)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (1242)
  14. Fibre Optic (1235)
  15. Wireless Internet (1234)
  16. Vodafone (928)
  17. EE (907)
  18. 5G (900)
  19. TalkTalk (821)
  20. Sky Broadband (787)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact