We recently had the chance to speak to Kelly Barlow, Director of Voice and Mobile for BT. During our interview, we talked about the new BT Mobile, and what’s next for both BT Mobile and EE.
Q) Was there a temptation to merge the two brands EE and BT together to make one super brand? Much like EE did with Orange and T-Mobile?
A) The transaction to acquire EE is currently going through the approval process. Once the purchase completes, we will begin to take a look at branding options over the coming months. When we look to the future with different options, there will be incredible opportunities with the largest and fastest 4G network and the largest fibre broadband network.
Q) BT is focusing on SIM only plans. While the numbers are there for all to see, will BT be moving towards other kinds of plans too?
A) SIM Only is the fastest growing segment in the mobile market, which allows BT to offer significant savings over traditional bundled offers with phones. Any customer who wants a phone to go with their SIM can buy one with a £50 discount code at the BT Shop from £99. We will say more later about our plans, including deals with phones.
Q) Your prices are highly competitive, in fact clearly kicking most of the competition out of the ground. A- how, B-will it last, C-does that mean you’re cutting your profits so low that it may not work long term?
A) We have consistently aimed to bring something new and that’s good value to the mobile market and that strategy has not changed. The best prices are available to BT broadband households, which is consistent with the way we launched BT Sport, for instance. And this is the UK’s best value 4G deal for BT Broadband customers. Our prices and offers combine the power of our fixed fibre service with the convenience of mobile, and gives customers a range of competitively priced products and plans to satisfy their needs.
Q) What do you think is the future of mobile in the UK?
A) We think it’s an exciting time for the mobile market and that’s why we wanted to be part of it. As mentioned above, SIM Only is the fastest growing segment in the mobile market, which is why we saw a great opportunity to offer customers flexibility and great prices in this way.
Q) How do you think introducing BT Mobile will change the landline scene in the UK?
A) We see our propositions as very complementary. We have always offered bundles of broadband and inclusive landline minutes, now customers can add mobile to that. We know that our customers are consuming increasing amounts of data and they want the best possible connection wherever they are. BT Mobile gives them access to 4G on the UK’s biggest network plus unlimited access to more than 5 million BT Wifi hotspots.
Q) Do you have any comments on Three’s bosses buying O2? How do you see that partnership going?
A) We’re happy to have started our mobile journey and to be making this announcement, and that’s what we’d like to convey today.
Q)What is BT’s wider mobile strategy?
A) We’re really excited to start our mobile journey with this launch, and there will be many other exciting elements to look at as the year goes on. We are still committed to our inside out strategy and in the future we are looking to offer our customers femtocells providing them with the best connectivity wherever they are. Our plans are progressing well and are on track. We will be considering our wider mobile strategy further as the purchase of EE completes, which is likely to take some months yet.
Q) Your chance to sell: What do you think makes BT better than any other on the market?
A)We’re really excited to be back in the consumer mobile market and believe that our offering of 4G data, minutes and texts for as little as £5 a month is exceptional. As well as being part of the UK’s biggest network, our BT Mobile customers can enjoy unlimited access to the most extensive wi-fi coverage via more than 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots. There’s also added extras such as free BT Sport on the BT Sport App and family-friendly features like spending caps on all tariffs.