16 May 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
BT is merging its three consumer operations in fixed, mobile and internet service into a single division.
Marc Allera, the former CEO of EE, the mobile unit bought by
BT in early 2016, will continue to run BT’s
consumer operation, with the inclusion of both EE and Plusnet,
its internet service provider.
Allera said: "We’re investing across BT, EE and
Plusnet so that we can provide our customers with the widest
choice of products and services, on the best networks, and with
the best service in the UK."
The integrated division will bring together "the best of
mobile, broadband and Wifi networks through first-of-their-kind
converged products", said BT, which said it "is committing to
provide the best service and the widest choice to customers
across the UK".
The company said it is aiming at a "new converged, smart
network" that is due for completion by 2022.
Allera said: "We’re beginning our journey to
create one converged, smart network built on our world-leading
fixed and mobile networks – going beyond 4G, 5G, Wifi
and ultrafast broadband to seamlessly connect our customers
wherever they are to the things that matter most to
Paolo Pescatore, VP for multiplay and media at analyst company
CCS Insight, said: "This update provides a much needed boost to
the BT group, given the widespread negative publicity it has
endured in recent months. More importantly the new structure
and strategy provides better clarity on the future direction of
the consumer segment which has been in limbo for some
But the announcement implies that BT and EE will continue to
compete under their own brands in the consumer market.
BT said it will now offer a minimum speed of 100Mbps for its
ultrafast home broadband service, with speeds up to 314Mbps. It
will offer unified fixed, mobile and Wifi bills under the BT
Plus brand. EE will continue to offer its own flavour of home
broadband, but will now use a mixture of 4G and fixed broadband
It’s not clear how BT and EE will distinguish
their consumer products in the market. BT will also set up new
shops on the UK’s high streets – even
though EE already has its own stores.
Pescatore commented: "The consumer unit will continue with a
multi-brand approach, heavily focussed on convergence by
exploiting BT group’s vast network assets, to
deliver new convergent products while focusing on customer
He said of Allera that the "drive for simplicity and focus on
the customer will help increase loyalty among the more than 30
million users currently served by the combined brands in the
UK. This is consistent with the approach he took when leading
EE and he is now extending this into the larger consumer