The launch is the firm’s biggest marketing campaign in over a decade
Today, BT-owned operator EE has announced the launch of what is describes as an “everything app”, a new integrated platform offering a range of services from device sales and subscription management, available to everyone who creates an account, EE customer or not. The service, powered by EE ID, is available in app or online.
Through the platform, customers can access products and services from a wide range of companies from a centralised location, including trading-in devices or purchasing gaming accessories.
“With an EE ID, customers nationwide will be able to access a wide range of exciting new products, services and experiences across new sectors – easily and conveniently, in one place,” said EE CEO Marc Allera.
“We are also evolving the EE brand, while at the same time doubling down on great new connected products, with the launch of the fastest broadband, best value convergence, and exciting new TV services.”
This launch follows news from April last year, in which BT announced EE would gradually become the “flagship brand for consumer customers”, while BT would become the main brand for the Enterprise and Global units.
Included in the launch was the announcement of a new TV service, including the ‘EE TV Box Pro’ with multi-room, launching in the coming months, as well asa TV app is launching on Apple TV. ,
Whilst embarking on the firm’s new era of connectivity, EE also announced a range of new home broadband and mobile packages, including the release of their most advanced broadband offering, EE Full Fibre 1.6Gbps. According to EE, this package will deliver the fastest speeds and reliability of any of the UK’s major providers.
Additionally, the firm announced an all-new service named the ‘WiFi Enhancer’, which will allow customers to boost their home WiFi connectivity by prioritising their internet traffic should they chose to; for example, in ‘game mode’ for an enhanced playing experience, or ‘work mode’ for efficient and delay-free home working.
Customers of EE broadband will also have access to the lowest mobile prices out of all mobile providers.
“By creating a new marketplace, and by marketing and selling a broader range of products and services, the new EE will end up in direct competition with other retailers. The latter should perceive this as a threat, given the new EE’s combined entity and its opportunity to sell more subscriptions and products with a seamless experience,” said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight.
“Strategically, this puts the new EE in pole position compared to its traditional telco rivals. Others have their own challenges and will fall further adrift given the need to be more flexible and agile in a radically converged and cut-throat marketplace. This will force them to accelerate their own efforts, platforms, mindset, and strategic vision.”
“Consumer behavioural patterns have changed, and it is about time telcos evolve. This latest revolutionary move represents a radical and fundamental shift in thinking and approach in the way a telco operates. In essence, the new EE aspires to be more – a broader tech and services retailer underpinned by connectivity.”
The launch announcement was followed by a Q&A session with CEO Marc Allera and Chief Digital Officer (Consumer) Kevin Lee
How you will articulate these messages to both current and potential customers in terms of some of the campaigns, and how will retail and physical stores play a part in that?
The first release is launching on Friday, and subsequent releases will bring more and more. One of the big challenges we have is how to communicate all of this stuff, we have come up with a fantastic vehicle that really does tap into customer’s needs[…] understanding our customers and the categories that really matter to them. Work, game, learn, home – these are going to be the first ways in which we start to segment the communication, and the products and services that meet those needs.
Gaming is a great example. Broadband made for gamers, prioritising bandwidth to your devices when you’re gaming. Our communication will be targeted based on real customers and real needs, rather than just shouting speeds and allowances at them.
The EE ID sounds like the “super app” proposition. If you are an EE customer, do you get anything that non-EE customers get? And how is this being enabled behind the scenes, because it appears to be a huge task in terms of consumer security?
Firstly, this is an enormous piece of work. This is a fundamental change to the technology platform that powers our business, that allows anyone and everyone to create a relationship with us. We have broken our business model and had to start with a platform mindset with the customer at its heart, not the technology, and the best way of doing that is through your individual identity.
For EE customers, they will get better experiences. Because if you’re a gamer, for example, you won’t be able to get the broadband capability made for gamers or some of the outstanding value in our bundles, where you get access to unlimited data from £10.
We worked with a best-in-class provider, Microsoft Azure, to create our identity platform. That allowed a secure authentication framework, which sits behind the platform and blocks malicious attacks and so protects customer data.
What about those people living in an area without fibre – what is BT going to do to help deliver these services?
The fibre upgrade that this country is undergoing the biggest infrastructure project at scale, nationwide, that continues with no wavering and no changes. There are 10 million homes with full fibre in the UK already, so we will very quickly get to a place where the majority of homes are covered by full fibre. On mobile, we continue to expand our masts, and have committed to get 5G everywhere by 2028.
Are you now effectively looking to challenge the likes of Amazon and offer subscriptions for everything?
We are trying to become a more relevant brand to customers beyond connectivity than we are today. We see this in a number of categories within consumer electronics. Gaming is a great example of this, creating bundles, zero-interests payment etc. But, customers are more than happy to buy standalone products too. We are not looking to “take anyone on”, but it’s more about giving customers more reason to be with EE and to create better relationships with them.
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