BT Plus – the company’s converged fixed and mobile product – is making good early progress with more than 100,000 customers taking the service in the opening weeks since launch, BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera revealed.
Speaking on BT’s fiscal Q1 results analyst call, covering the three months to the end of June, Allera (pictured) said the company had seen a “lot of interest” in the converged product, adding BT Plus had made up a large proportion of the company’s upgrades since launch. Exact figures were not disclosed.
While much of Europe already has a large number of consumers taking converged deals from operators, the UK remains far behind similar markets.
BT unveiled its first truly converged product BT Plus in May and began selling its integrated deal towards the end of the quarter. The company aims to be the UK’s leader in convergence.
During Q1, its mobile business EE also unveiled its 5G testing plan, with its first pilot set to take place in London in October. The company remains “on track” to launch the new network commercially in 2019.
Commenting on BT’s converged performance, analyst Paolo Pescatore warned: “The market is rapidly changing and BT is starting to get left behind. It needs to move far more quickly to ensure it is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead in convergence.”
However, he added: “Undoubtedly the company has all the assets to compete head on with existing and new rivals. The next two quarters represent a key period for the company as it seeks to execute on its new consumer strategy.”
Across the whole of BT Group, net profit for the quarter was £549 million compared to £285 million in Q1 2017 – however the company added the two figures were not directly comparable due to a change in accounting standards.
Adjusted revenue declined 2 per cent year-on-year to £5.7 billion as gains in its consumer unit were offset by price reductions in its fibre wholesale business and decline in BT Enterprise.
“We’ve made a good start to the year,” outgoing BT CEO Gavin Patterson said. “We are making positive progress against our strategy. Our customer experience metrics continue to improve and we have seen the successful launch of new converged products including BT Plus.”
Meanwhile, the operator’s cost-cutting measures continued with its staff numbers reduced by 900 during the three-month period. The cuts are part of the 13,000 reduction announced in May, alongside a number of other measures designed to refocus the business.
A month after confirming the swingeing cuts, BT announced Patterson would step down later this year. Since then the company has offered no update on either his future or the progress of the search for a successor. Media reports suggest Allera is a candidate for the top job, as is Sunrise CEO (and former EE CEO) Olaf Swantee, as well as Severn Trent boss Liv Garfield.