EE eyes 4G advisory service for brands

EE is looking to amplify its position as a UK “leader” in mobile innovation by offering advice and engineering support to brands, developers and non-competing networks looking to launch services on 4G.

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The mobile operator is looking to formalise its advisory services into a business facing brand name and is exploring whether to communicate some of the work it does – such as helping the London Air Ambulance reduce its rescue time by up to 2 minutes with a 4G application – in forthcoming advertising to better demonstrate the practical applications of its superfast network.

Steven Day, EE chief of brand and communications, told Marketing Week the company looks to extend communicating its leadership position beyond it being the first 4G network and having the biggest user base in the UK but also a “global leader” in innovation.

He added: “It’s fair to say a lot of app developers have thought about the speed element but they’re now asking us how we can help with coupling speed with mobility. We want the best [brands and developers] building [apps] in the UK on the fastest network and we’ve sent out the invites for them to work with us.”

The invites come in the week EE announced its is to double its current average 4G speeds to 20MBps and top speeds of 130MBps in 10 cities and will also double its network capacity by the summer.

EE claims it is the only operator in the UK with the necessary combination of 4G spectrum bands and mobile sites to undertake a rapid widespread deployment of the double-speed and capacity network given the smaller slices of the 4G spectrum its rivals managed to acquire in Ofcom’s recent auction.

Only Vodafone could reasonably compete on speed and capacity, given the wide portfolio of new spectrum it acquired from the auction, compared with O2 or Three, according to the operator.

Olaf Swantee, EE CEO, says this allows the company to be the “benchmark” mobile network, which will help “reinstate the UK as a leader of mobile networks”.

Day says this also means the company can use speed as its differentiator when it comes to marketing against its rivals when they launch their own 4G offerings this summer, rather than it being a “shoot out” between very similar propositions.

EE targets reaching 1 million registrations by Christmas – 10 months ahead of the average 2 years since launch it has taken 4G operators in other countries to reach that amount of users.

EE tariffs deliver 10 per cent more average revenue per user when customers migrate from its two non-4G brands, Orange and T-Mobile, the company claims.

VIEWPOINT

Lara O'Reilly

Mobile operators have often been seen as behind the pack when it comes to innovation and instead just as the facilitators of the dumb pipes that allow consumers to receive the best in class apps and services created by others.

EE has invested millions of pounds and years of work to launch its 4G service, which has resulted in forming a team of experts in IT and mobility, which it can now leverage even further to offer advice and support to other companies.

The benefits are clear. By offering its support services to corporate companies, they are also likely to become corporate customers or take up more of its products if they are already clients.

The move also elevates EE to a position more in line with the likes of Google and Facebook who are renowned for pushing innovation and thought leadership forward, which can only serve to improve positive perceptions towards the brand.

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