The Big Interview

Q&A with Damien Staples, vice president, BT Global Wholesale

Bill Boyle

08 Nov 2016

What are your major priorities at the moment?

We’ve been busy integrating EE this year and are pleased to be here this week co-branded as BT-EE. We have brought together the best of UK fixed-line with the best of UK mobile – obviously very exciting for consumers in the UK, but also for our wholesale partners who can now take advantage of a wider range of wholesale services from the combined BT-EE.

We are working on making sure that our partners are aware of the full service that the new BT EE brings to the market. We’re also promoting this week our new, more flexible routing options for wholesale voice, which we believe will further enhance the market leading capability offered on our Global IPX platform.

How is the integration of EE going?

At the Group level the integration is progressing very well. We have completed the organisational integration and are beginning to realise synergistic benefits. We are also pleased with positive response we have received in the market – our customers are excited by the opportunities this merger has created. From a wholesale perspective, we are engaging directly with more MNO partners for roaming agreements globally; and we are working to bring together the best of EE and BT roaming portfolio to create a comprehensive suite of wholesale roaming services.

We are also welcoming more partners onto our Global Wi-Fi Hub and are pleased to see Wi-Fi becoming a more common feature in retail roaming propositions. In 2017 we will launch VoLTE roaming which we expect to underpin cellular roaming in the medium term. It’s exciting for BT to be taking a leading position in the evolution of wholesale mobile services, very much supplementing the fixed line services and expertise we are renowned for.

Are you doing anything new in the context of the integration?

I’ve talked a bit about the new opportunities the addition of mobile has brought to our business. We have also restructured the core carrier wholesale unit to bring together the commercial front-end with our operational and governance functions and our product teams. This consolidated unit is more agile and better able to respond to the real-time needs of our customers.

We have a clear strategy building out a fully-integrated suite of wholesale products and services with a new management team ready and excited to help our partners take advantage of it. We look forward to meeting everyone in Paris!