BT has announced the deals available on its new mobile service. Packages start at £5 a month, and to help it stand out in the crowded market, it will throw in free access to Premier Leaguefootball 'on the go'. The plan is seen as a bold move to capitalise on existing services, and use that to spread into the mobile market.
BT is in the process of buying EE, the UK's largest mobile network, for £12.5 billion. The new services it is announcing will run on the existing EE masts, as well as BT Wi-fi hotspots. It says it will offer three SIM card deals, where users buy a SIM and slot it onto their existing phone, to get calls, texts and 4G internet - including streaming.
By separating out the cost of the packages from the cost of the phone, BT is able to offer some bargains. The cheapest is available to BT Broadband customers, who can get a SIM card with 500MB of data, unlimited texts and 200 minutes of calls for £5 a month. Non-broadband customers will pay £10 a month for the same deal.
The next level offers 2GB of data, unlimited texts and 500 minutes of calls for £12 for broadband customers and £17 for everyone else. And the top end offers 20GB of data, and unlimited texts and minutes. BT Broadband customers will pay £20 a month for the package and everyone else £25.
Sweetening the deal
Anyone who signs up will be able to get the BT Sport App for free, which offers 'on the go' access to 42 live Barclays Premier League football matches per season (which BT paid £960 million for back in February). Doku called this: "A huge draw for new customers sitting on the fence."
Sport has already proved a useful way for BT to keep its broadband customers, which stopped defecting at the same rate after Premiership matches were included as part of the deal. It will be hoping it can work a similar magic in building a mobile customer base.
BT has also added in a level of protection to its packages. All the contracts have a cap on spending, there are parental controls in place, and it offers shared billing, which provides peace of mind for families.
It's an interesting offering, but Doku warns that anyone considering signing up for the mobile deal in addition to their broadband, landline and TV (known as quad-play) should think carefully about whether they need it all.
He said: "Whilst multiple services with one provider can offer simplicity for consumers, with so many different bundles available for different products, it can be trickier to compare deals across providers, and subsequently to know if you are getting a good deal. Make sure you look at what you use and what you need, before signing up for something that isn't the perfect bundle for you."
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