BT takes 'first step' on 4G mobile journey

BT takes 'first step' on 4G mobile journey

BT today confirmed the launch of 4G mobile services for its existing customers, revealing three 12 month SIM only plans starting at £5 per month.

The telco described the launch as the ‘first steps’ in its consumer mobile strategy which will be further developed over the coming years as and when its £12.5bn deal for EE receives regulatory approval.

That early BT Mobile services are predominantly available as SIM only plans appears to illustrate just how far BT has progressed in developing that strategy.

Customers are expected to use either their existing 2/3/4G phones or buy an unspecified brand of 4G handset from a BT shop for £99 with no indication of availability provided - suggesting the telco is still to work out the precise terms of partnership agreements with leading handset makers.

BT Mobile is aimed very much at consumer households and mirrors similar deals available from rival fixed broadband providers TalkTalk and Virgin Media whose customers already receive discounted mobile phone deals – both SIM only and based on a wide choice of handsets from a range of different manufacturers – if they subscribe to broader telephone and internet packages.

The cheapest deal on offer from BT includes 500MB of 4G data, unlimited texts and 200 voice minutes a month for £5 for the telco’s broadband customers, with non BT Broadband subscribers charged £10 a month.

Industry watchers have mixed opinions on whether low cost mobile service add-ons have any effect on consumer behaviour when it comes to choosing their broadband supplier, but BT is clearly hedging its bets when it comes to the value of either triple or quad play services in attracting subscribers.

Video is clearly in the telco’s mind with the BT Mobile service including free BT Sport via the BT Sport App through which subscribers can watch a select amount of live Premier League football matches. Having agreed to pay £246m per season for those screening rights, BT is keen to recoup its investment by using BT Sport to pull in as many broadband and mobile customers as it can.

Read more on whether spending big sums on exclusive content is worth it here.

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