BT confirmed its anticipated return to the UK consumer mobile market, positioning what was described as the country’s “best value 4G mobile data deal” as a “reward for its BT broadband customers”.
“Offering BT customers the UK’s best value 4G data deal is a great way to start our journey towards re-establishing ourselves as a major player in consumer mobile,” John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said.
The company is offering the service on a SIM only basis, noting that its deals also offer unlimited Wi-Fi via its network of more than five million access points, and “family-friendly features like spending caps on all tariffs”.
Indeed, the company made much of its Wi-Fi presence, stating that as customers demand connectivity wherever they are, “it’s our ambition to meet this demand by combining the power of our fixed fibre service with Wi-Fi and the convenience of mobile”.
And, as with its broadband proposition, content is also a feature of the mobile deal: it includes free BT Sport content via the BT Sport App, even for customers who do not have BT Broadband services.
The company is starting its offer with a £5 per month offer for BT broadband customers, which includes 500MB of 4G data, unlimited text and 200 minutes; for others, the price is £10. Rival 3 UK offers a similar package at £8.
All contracts last for 12 months, and up to five mobile plans per household can be added at the discounted rates for BT Broadband customers. The operator also said that it offers “the freedom to move between plans without taking out a new contract, even if customers want to move to a cheaper plan”.
The company is also offering four 4G smartphones via its online store, starting at £99 with discount for Huawei’s Ascend Y550.
Of course, BT has also agreed terms to acquire UK mobile market leader EE for £12.5 billion, which will significantly transform its mobile strategy when the deal closes (subject to the regulatory green-light).
The company said that it will offer more details about what consumers will be offered when the transaction completes.
CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore noted that today’s launch is “the first of many steps for the company as BT looks to gain a stronger foothold in the consumer mobile and multiplay markets, including its proposed acquisition of EE… BT is a credible player in the telecoms market and will be in a far stronger position next year with the inclusion of EE, subject to regulatory approval.
“Rivals should be threatened by this move and Sky in particular will need to react given how punchy BT’s SIM only deals are. With this in mind Sky may need to launch mobile a lot sooner.”