4G device availability a massive boost for EE
It’s a good time to be launching a new mobile brand in the UK. EE will, to all intents and purposes, be a new network but crucially, one which has excellent coverage to compete with the existing players. This is what has made it difficult for new operators like 3 in the past. Most importantly, when EE launches later this year it will have at least five devices that work on the 4G network including the best-selling Samsung Galaxy 3.
EE will have to be careful about over-promising on 4G capabilities particularly given that the network will only cover 30% of the population by the end of this year. It will need to strike a balance between extolling the virtues of 4G in terms of speed and latency while, at the same time, continuing to invest in, and market its 3G network capability.
There will be some confusion about where the new brand sits alongside T-Mobile and Orange. But by introducing a dedicated new brand on its 4G network Everything Everywhere will be able to position EE as its premium service and, it hopes, migrate customers onto the new network. Over a period of time EE will come to be viewed as the service for heavy mobile Internet users while T-Mobile will be the brand for cost-conscious prepaid customers and Orange, the brand associated with offers such as Orange Wednesdays.
The use of the EE brand for fibre-to-the-home services is also interesting because it immediately positions Everything Everywhere as the provider of fixed broadband services with the largest retail footprint in the UK. Over time we expect EE to develop services and capabilities that bring together its fixed and mobile businesses into single, integrated offerings.