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BT and EE UK Trial New Smart Hub Router and WiFi Mesh Kit UPDATE3

Monday, Jan 9th, 2023 (9:16 am) - Score 23,536

Broadband ISPs BT and EE have sent out a new invite to registered trialists that asks them to help trial “our latest Smart Hub [router] and Wi-Fi [mesh] extenders” for free (including the broadband service itself). But unusually, they’re also asking the trialists to invite people who they know that aren’t yet customers.

At the start of this month (here) we reported that BT were set to trigger the next phase of their plan to turn EE into their “flagship brand for consumer customers” around the February to April 2023 period, which among other things may see their new Wi-Fi 6 equipped Smart Hub 3 (SH3) router launch first as an EE (not BT) product. This will involve some of BT’s existing consumer products being placed on a “stop sell” and others re-branded to EE (e.g. BT TV). But EE will also continue to be the main focus for all things mobile. All of this will happen gradually, rather than as one big change

The new trial invite lends further support to the aforementioned expectation, since it’s the first time that BT and EE have openly confirmed they’re testing new Smart Hub and WiFi extender hardware. Certainly, it makes sense that they’d update their wireless mesh (Complete Wi-Fi) system at the same time as introducing a new router, particularly if Wi-Fi 6 is being added.

However, the new trial is a little unusual, since BT and EE aren’t strictly asking the registered trialists themselves to help test the new kit. Instead, it states: “For the next stage of the Smart Hub trial we’re looking for people who don’t have BT/EE broadband as their service provider. Do you know anyone (perhaps yourself) who may be interested, thinking of coming over to EE? If so, please read on.”

In short, the providers want to convert non-BT/EE consumers to their service as part of the hardware trial, which naturally requires some incentive to be a viable proposition. The incentives in this case are all neatly listed down in the new email (quoted below).

What are the Incentives?

As well as sending them the latest equipment, we’ll also cover the cost of their entire bill for the duration of the trial

We’ll put them on the fastest broadband line available to them

We won’t hold them to term after the trial so they won’t be tied to a contract

We’ll also be including an additional incentive for those that complete their surveys and provide regular feedback (details later in the trial)

In theory this could mean, at best, a free 900Mbps FTTP broadband line with the latest Smart Hub 3 router and WiFi mesh system. But the catch is that we don’t yet know how long the trial will last (probably 2-3 months if we look toward that April 2023 date), or what those other incentives might be for people who put a lot of effort into completing related surveys / feedback forms etc.

UPDATE 10:24am

We’ve had the official comment.

A Spokesperson for EE said:

“We continually look to provide our customers with the best home broadband experiences available. As part of this, we regularly work with consumer trialists to help us review new products and services that deliver great in-home connectivity. We’re unable to share further details on our latest trials at this stage, but we can assure customers they will be amongst the first to hear about any new and exciting offerings we plan to launch.”

UPDATE 12:49pm

One of our readers has kindly provided the sign-up link for this.

UPDATE 3:43pm

Sources indicate that one official name of EE’s (BT) new Smart Hub router will be the ‘Smart Hub Plus‘ (this seems to be a premium edition, so we’re expecting a basic model too) and it looks like they’ll be adopting a more rectangular design for it, albeit still with slightly rounded edges. The ISP is unsurprisingly also gearing up to launch packages based off Openreach’s 1.2Gbps and 1.8Gbps FTTP tiers.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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22 Responses
  1. Avatar photo jordan says:

    well i have cuckoo openreach so can i get this?

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Potentially, yes, but you’d need to know one of the registered BT and EE trialists. If you do, then they could provide you with the possibly bespoke link to sign-up.

  2. Avatar photo jordan says:

    well i know none so unlucky me lmao

  3. Avatar photo Sean says:

    Mark, the emails sent out in December 2022 said they were ONLY looking for non BT/EE broadband customers, it looks like the scope has changed, again.

  4. Avatar photo Brett Baker says:

    It would be nice to see a guest network on the new router.

  5. Avatar photo Sam says:

    I want to be able to separate SSID’s while maintaining a mesh with one of the SSID’s that would be useful! It sucks you can’t separate bands. Very annoying. And another thing I’d like to see improved is blocking internet to devices used by children. It’s over complicated in the BT app. I’m using the Plusnet Hub 2 at the moment and that’s a big mess of a UI too.

  6. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    What a desperate way of trying to pump on subscriber numbers 🙂

    Normally, you have to pay on a trial unless they are explicitly saying it would be free which isn’t indicated. How do you juggle their live trial date sometime in the future with transfer from an existing service too unless they handle all that side too.

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Been on many BT trials. They always cover the cost of the service as a minimum

  7. Avatar photo Lucke says:

    Wifi 6e with the new router would be great

  8. Avatar photo Pat Russell says:

    BT are absolutely useless. We managed to get the Gov gigabyte scheme in the village for FFTP. NOTHING WORKS. The only reliable place I can get WiFi is in the kitchen. Had BT back and they told me I needed to get some boosters. Would never had changed from Plusnet if they could have offered me a phone line when they installed FFTP. Half the village are having problems with BT. plus they are extremely difficult to contact. I am now looking for a different provider.

    1. Avatar photo Tony says:

      Which village? Is it just the placement of the router that’s the issue?
      Is it in the same place your old one sat?

    2. Avatar photo Danny says:

      My advice is to buy your own mesh wifi system it’s so much better and you have total control over it all

    3. Avatar photo Annoyed says:

      [Admin note: removed potentially offensive remark]

    4. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @Annoyed, that is a bit Ageist, I am coming up to 57, and I know the difference, my brother is 65 and his wife is slightly younger I think and they understand it

    5. Avatar photo Paul says:

      PlusNet and BT are part of the same company and have been for years

    6. Avatar photo Lucke says:

      Your should speak to your councillor. Instead of having a panic attack on here. Lol

  9. Avatar photo JayTay says:

    BT’s Trial center has open sign-up and you may also get invites directly from that system too, not sure if URLs will be included in comments but it’s https://bt.centercode.com/welcome/ or just search for “BT trials”

  10. Avatar photo MRLeeds says:

    I’ll stick with my 900mbps cityfibre over openreach’s 45mbps. Trial or no trial.

  11. Avatar photo Sue Camp says:

    Absolute rubbish equipment.
    I’m changing supplier.
    In addition to the equipment being rubbish, the engineers are rude and don’t know their appointment dates.

  12. Avatar photo James says:

    do you know if that sign-up link is real and not a scam?

    1. Avatar photo Jamie Simms says:

      James – The sign up is 100% genuine it has been sent out to BT Trials staff and public members of trial community to encourage them to get friends and family involved.

  13. Avatar photo Wj says:

    Has anyone been contacted about this yet?

Comments are closed

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