KPN drops Hi youth brand, blames 4G

Dutch operator KPN is waving goodbye to its youth-focused brand Hi from May 1, saying that the advent of 4G services means there is a growing lack of differentiation between the needs of Hi and KPN customers.

In future, Hi customers will be brought under the main KPN brand. The operator added that the move fits with its strategy to simplify the company's organisation, processes and products. The move will also see the closure of 52 Hi stores in the Netherlands.

Jaap Postma, director of consumer at KPN, said: "The use of streaming services in the field of video and music has become important due to the excellent mobile Internet experience on 4G for all mobile customers. We say goodbye to the Hi brand, but not what the Hi brand stands for."

In future, Hi customers will retain the same phone numbers as well as the same contract bundles and contract expiry dates. Hi subscriptions and prepaid connections will be transferred between Apr. 23 and Jul. 1 to the KPN brand.

The Hi brand was established in 1996 in order to meet the specific needs of young people. It formed part of a multi-branding process pursued by KPN in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to target different market segments. The Dutch operator also commented that the merger of KPN and Hi will have no effect on the Telfort and Simyo brands in the Netherlands.

The operator has since sold its German business, E-Plus, to Telefonica Deutschland.

The German operator in turn is believed to be in the process of streamlining the E-Plus brand portfolio, although it has not confirmed reports it intends to drop the E-Plus, Base and Simyo brands in the German market.

"Besides the sale of the 'yourfone' brand to Drillisch (effective January 2015), there are no decisions on the future brand portfolio made yet," a spokesman for Telefonica Deutschland said in comments emailed to FierceWireless:Europe. "The company will continue to follow a multi-brand strategy in order to give every customer the highest continuity as possible. We are working on repositioning certain brands in order to reduce overlapping of sales channels."

For more:
- see this KPN release (in Dutch)

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