BT Mobile launches new mobile phone contracts, insists EE brand is to stay

BT Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator launched by the former UK incumbent last year, has extended its service range beyond SIM-only deals and now offers three new contracts together with the latest 4G smartphones.

The MVNO, which uses wholesale network capacity from EE and a small-cell network, said the three "simple" plans offer data allowances of 500 MB, 2 GB or 15 GB and also come with a £5 (€6.50/$7.20) monthly discount for existing BT broadband subscribers. Prices start at £20 a month for BT broadband households.

Customers will also be able to take advantage of deals on 4G smartphones, and the cost of contracts will vary depending on the smartphone.

John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer, said: "Just over a year ago we launched some of the UK's best value SIM-only offers from just £5 a month. Now we're going one step further with our fantastic value pay monthly mobile phone contracts with extra savings for loyal BT broadband customers."

The introduction of new mobile phone plans brings BT Mobile closer to the offerings of EE, again raising the question as to whether BT ultimately plans to drop the EE brand. The company acquired the mobile operator in January this year.

A spokesperson for BT insisted that the new contracts do not represent the beginning of the end for the EE brand, pointing out that BT has previously stated that it would pursue a multi-brand strategy.

BT Mobile appears to be targeted at consumers who are already familiar with the BT brand and prefer to subscribe to BT services in order to take advantage of discounts on other services such as broadband. EE is targeted at "different types" of customers, although the spokesperson struggled to give a clear definition of BT Mobile and EE target customers.

Essentially, BT is clearly playing the loyalty card with BT Mobile, with EE left to pursue its own strategy. EE certainly still offers much higher data allowances of up to 50 GB, and also continues to flag up value-added offerings such as EE Film.

In May, BT said EE now has a customer base of 30.6 million, with 15.1 million 4G customers. BT Mobile has over 400,000 customers.

For more:
- see the BT release

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