BT hatches a cunning new multiplay plan

UK operator group BT has unveiled a bunch of initiatives for its consumer business unit, focusing on a new ‘BT Plus’ converged plan.

The point is apparently to offer BT punters the best combination of services across its three UK consumer brands: BT, EE and Plusnet. It’s all about keeping them connected regardless of the brand and the connectivity method – whatever gets the job done. There’s also a fair bit of posturing about customer service and improved retail.

“BT runs the UK’s most advanced mobile and broadband networks, but our customers demand better connections, and the best service no matter where they are,” said BT consumer CEO Marc Allera. “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.

“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 them.”

All this amounts to ‘the UK’s first converged, smart network’ apparently, a process BT expects to complete by 2022. In practice this seems to be the stitching together of a few initiatives that were already underway, including fibre rollout, improved 4G coverage and an expanded public wifi footprint.

BT Plus groups broadband and mobile into one plan – something that has been anticipated ever since BT bought EE. “The announcement of BT Plus marks the launch of the UK’s first fully converged service offering,” said Paolo Pescatore of CCS Insight. “Positioned as a premium offering, it is a modest start but we expect more competitive offers to emerge. The slew of more than 20 announcements was impressive and reinforced BT’s commitment to be a leader in converged offerings delivering innovative services.”

Pescatore was especially moved by some of BT digital partnership announcements. “Arguably, the biggest partnership announcement is with Amazon,” he said. “BT will be the first UK telco to offer Amazon Prime video to its customers. The move to support Amazon Prime video positions BT TV as an aggregator of content services including Netflix and Now TV from next year.  We believe that this will turn around its fortunes given that BT TV has recorded losses for the last two quarters and subscriber growth over the last couple of years has been lacklustre.”

This set of announcements seem designed to offer a narrative of Allera having an immediate impact as overall head of consumer at BT. It also needed to generate some positive vibes after the recent announcement of redundancies, etc. BT has an enviable array of assets and products at its disposal and if Allera can get the best out for them in terms of consumer offering, that could go a long way to improving the company’s fortunes.

Look, a vid.

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