EE CEO Marc Allera has set forth a new network strategy, following its takeover by BT earlier this year.
The new EE chief will seek to eradicate rural notspots, pledging to expand 4G coverage to 95% of the UK. Describing this as ‘going further than any mobile operator has ever gone’, the network said it is challenging the industry, measuring coverage by geography instead of by population.
‘For the average smartphone user, not-spots aren’t tolerated and 2G doesn’t deliver what they need,’ Allera said. ‘Customers want 4G speeds everywhere they go, and mobile operators are too used to saying ‘no’ to new coverage. Today, I’m saying ‘yes’, with an ambition to go further than any operator has ever gone, and with the ultimate aim of covering the whole UK with 4G.'
EE recently partnered with BT to bring 4G coverage to Shetland and the Isles of Scilly, in a move it claimed reaffirmed its commitment to bring connectivity to the furthest reaches of the UK.
The issue of notspots has been widely covered in the UK, with one of the barriers believed to be the Electronic Communications Code which makes it difficult to get access to mast sites. Networks and MPs have publically called for changes to the legislation in the past, with EE also calling for changes, stating that policy reform is neccessary to hit its 95% target.
EE goes for 100%
Allera will also look to ramp up customer service experiences, moving onshore with 100% of calls to be handled in the UK and Ireland by the end of the year, creating 600 new customer services roles.
‘We’re bringing 100% of our EE customer service calls back to the UK and Ireland,’ he said. ‘We’ve already seen a major boost in customer satisfaction by creating 1,400 new service jobs here since 2014. Now we’re creating 600 additional jobs to handle all EE customer service calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year, providing the best possible experience for our customers.’
BT buys EE
Formerly CCO at the network, Allera took over the top job at the beginning of 2016 when former CEO Olaf Swantee stepped down following BT’s successful £12.5bn takeover of EE. After the purchase, BT announced a major restructure, with plans to keep EE focused largely on the consumer market, including keeping its UK high street presence intact.
The Competition and Market’s Authority’s decision to pass the deal without any remedies was met with mixed reactions from the industry. Dealers took a cautionary approach while TalkTalk urged the regulator to reconsider. The takeover has also increased pressure on the pending purchase of O2 by Three UK owners CK Hutchison, which is believed to be on the brink of collapse as European regulators deliberate.