EE’s MVNO partnership with BT will result in more competition and affect pricing in the sector according to Informa analyst Dario Talmesio (pictured).
The pair formalised their agreement late last month in a move that saw the UK’s largest operator replace Vodafone as the telecoms giant’s strategic partner, and MVNO expert Talmesio told Mobile that Vodafone needed to prepare for an increase in competition.
He said: ‘There is only one clear loser, which is Vodafone. Vodafone not only loses an MVNO account to EE, but will face more fixed, mobile and eventually FMC competition for business customers, an important segment for both Vodafone and BT. Overall the result is more competition which will most probably have some effect on prices.
‘BT was not a huge account for Vodafone, and I doubt it is going to lose a great deal of wholesale revenues. But now it has a serious competitor which it no longer controls under its own terms of MNVO wholesale. The bad news for Vodafone is more of a structural, mid-term nature than an opportunistic one.’
BT will be able to offer its customers EE’s 4G service under the new deal, which was first revealed in October last year. The firm is looking to build on its Wi-Fi presence by targeting both business customers and consumers.
The strategic partnership between EE and BT sees the pair cover mobile, landline, television and broadband, but Talmesio added that a quad-play proposition would be unlikely.
He said: ‘The UK is not a quad-play market generally speaking, and let’s not forget this is more for business customers rather than consumers. However, a reasonable move for BT will be to start adding value and protecting residential customers, especially high value ones. Mobile will allow BT to do that.
‘It is reasonable to expect that after an initial focus on Government, enterprise and SME, BT will start building a solid consumer proposition with its MVNO.’