BTwatch
This release
: #301
December 2018: 54pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

Executive brief

Group

Research & Innovation: Watson calls for convergence and collaboration [p.6]

  • McRae talks tough with vendors…
  • … but has positive words for Huawei

Restructuring: Facilities management outsourced in restructuring step [p.10]

Suppliers: BT to remove Huawei from EE core as controversy rumbles [p.12]

  • Tensions rise between UK watchdog and vendor
  • Political pressure builds across the West

People [p.15]

  • Table: People movements

Consumer

5G: EE to use network slicing for football broadcasts in 2019 [p.19]

ESN: Emergency Services Network enters network coverage testing phase [p.20]

  • ESN products revealed to date
  • telent on a roll
  • LinkedIn chat reveals continuing concerns, suggests 5G research could help

Products & Services: Launch of Smart Hub 2 and Complete Wi-Fi for BT Plus customers [p.24]

  • Smart Hub 2 capabilities trumpeted
  • BT still adding gloss to packages

Tarriffs & Pricing: Pressure builds on BT pricing practices [p.27]

  • CMA provides added impetus

Television Services: BT-backed YouView ties with Amazon, VOD 365 [p.29]

Enterprise

Public Sector Contracts: BT cops IT implementation contract with police chiefs [p.31]

  • Northern Ireland provides further good news

INLINKUK [p.32]

Global Services

Cloud Services: BT's cloud disperses [p.35]

Contracts: BT has good SD-WAN chemistry with IXOM [p.36]

BT Security: BT Security plans European surge [p.38]

Openreach

Networks: Forward-focused Openreach tripping up on current capacity problems [p.41]

  • Openreach on the case
  • Openreach trials going slower to speed up

Competitors: Openreach ready for fibre build battle royale [p.44]

  • Brexit raises its head
  • Openreach faces new kid on the block for full-fibre
  • FibreNation in search of street cred
  • Ofcom gets 'flexible' on fibre regs

Further reading

Index

Symbols

21st Century Fox
- Sky
- NOW TV 29
Sky Sports 50

A

ADVA Optical Networking 7
Alphabet
- Google
- YouTube 19
Amazon 28, 29, 35
- Alexa 29
- Amazon Prime 29
- Amazon Web Services 35
Apple 24
Arqiva 29
Aviva 15

B

Betfred 28
BMW 17
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 15, 28, 29
- iPlayer 29
Broadband Forum 6, 19
BT Group 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 27, 45
- Asia
-- Tech Mahindra 9
- BT Consumer 19, 24, 45
-- BT Cloud 35
-- BT Scotland 15
-- BT TV 26
-- Plusnet 24
- BT Enterprise
-- BT Business & Public Sector 15
-- BT Facilities Services 10
-- BT Fleet 17
-- BT Ireland 33
-- BT Wholesale & Ventures 15
-- InLinkUK 32, 50
- BT Global Services 9, 15, 34, 35, 36, 39, 51
-- BT Americas 15
-- BT Global Communications India 9
-- BT Security 15, 38, 39, 51
- BT Pension Scheme 15
-- Spencer, Paul 15
-- Thoresen, Otto 15
- BT Technology, Service and Operations
-- 21CN 12
-- Adastral Park 9, 49
-- Azure 23, 31
- Directors
-- du Plessis, Jan 45
-- Rake, Sir Michael 45
- EE 8, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 50
-- Emergency Services Network 12, 20, 50
- Executives
-- Allera, Marc 19
-- Brown, Kevin 15
-- Burger, Bas 15
-- Chamberlain, Gillian 33
-- Dick, Brendan 15
-- Hindhaugh, Jamie 19
-- McRae, Neil 7, 13
-- Meller, Hila 38
-- Murnaghan, Paul 32
-- Selley, Clive 44, 45
-- Watson, Howard 6, 8, 9
-- Watson, Marc 26
-- Wood, Jane 15
- Ex-executives
-- Galvin, Mike 15
-- Hanif, Mansoor 8
-- Hughes, Mark 15
-- Reynolds, Paul 47
-- Staples, Damien 15
- Openreach 15, 20, 21, 25, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51
Business in the Community 15

C

Capgemini 15
Carillion 21
CBRE Group 10, 49
Cisco Systems, Inc. 7
Citrix 35
CityFibre 44, 47
CK Hutchison
- Three Group
-- Three UK 22
Communications Workers Union 10, 49
Competition and Markets Authority 28
Cushman & Wakefield 16

D

Deloitte 15, 31, 50
Deutsche Telekom 48
DMSL 15

E

ECI 43
Eleven Sports Network 26, 28
Emirates Airline 9
ExCel Arena 19

F

Facebook 28
Football Association
Football League 28

G

Google 35
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, UK) 13

H

Home Office (UK) 20, 21, 23, 50
Huawei
- Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre 13
Huawei Technologies 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 19, 42, 43, 49

I

IBM 35
Indian Institute of Science 9, 49
INEX 33
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- Broadband World Forum 6
ISS 10, 49
ITV 29
IXOM 36, 51

K

Kingston Communications (KCOM) 11

L

Liberty Global
- Virgin Media 24, 26, 46, 47
LinkedIn 15, 23

M

M&G Prudential 47
- InfraCapital 47
Microsoft 23, 31, 35
Motorola 20, 21, 23, 50
Motorola Solutions
- Airwave 20, 21, 22, 23

N

National Police Chiefs Council 31
Netflix 29, 50
Nokia 7, 36, 42
- Nuage Networks 36
Northern Ireland Public Sector Shared Network 32, 50

O

Ofcom 8, 11, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51
- USO 11

P

Phones4u 14, 49
PricewaterhouseCoopers 14

Q

Qumu 39

R

Renault 17

S

Samsung 24
Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6, UK) 13
Setanta 28
Setanta Sport 28

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 24, 25, 29, 46, 47, 51
- FibreNation 46, 47, 51
Tech Mahindra 9
Technology
- 2G 23
- 3G 23
- 5G 6, 7, 8, 13, 19, 23, 49, 50
- Artificial intelligence 29
- Broadband 6, 8, 11, 15, 19, 24, 25, 27, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51
- Convergence 49
- Fibre 24, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51
- Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) 41, 43, 48, 51
- Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 42, 46, 47
- G.fast 24, 42, 43, 45, 51
- IP 33
- OTT 29
- Unified Communications 39
- VDSL 41, 43
- VDSL2 41, 42, 43
- Vectoring 43, 48
- Wi-Fi 6, 7, 8, 24, 25, 32, 49, 50
Telecom Infra Project 7, 8
Telecom New Zealand 47
Telefónica 14, 22
telent 20, 21, 50
The Climate Group 17
Twitter 10

U

Ultimate Fighting Championship 26
United Nations 17

V

Vodafone 14, 22
- UK 14, 22
Volkswagen 17

W

Which? 27, 50
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) 6, 8

Y

YouView 15, 29, 50
- Halton, Richard 15

Z

ZTE 13

  • Consumer’s fixed and mobile units are facing continued scrutiny for supposedly providing poor value for long-term customers. However, BT is confident its approach to customer management is clear, and justifiable.

The additional costs faced by broadband customers that do not re-negotiate their deals at the end of their initial contract are increasingly being highlighted by consumer watchdogs, and BT Group’s Consumer business is attracting negative publicity in their wake.

The UK Consumers Association’s Which? publication has claimed BT customers face the highest “loyalty penalty” among major service provider customers, citing research that showed the average annual broadband bill paid by a loyal BT customer is £540 a year, compared to £372 for those customers who negotiated when their contract is up.

An even greater differential of £220 per year was flagged when BT’s standard prices are compared to the fixed-term promotional discounts offered to its new customers. Although this practice is not unusual among the mainstream service providers in the sector, it was the incumbent that took the most stick for the practice. Nevertheless, the coverage is having a negative impact on perception of the incumbent.

BT has been calm and collected in its response to the complaints, maintaining it is transparent on prices, indicating it is open to renegotiation on expiry of promotional deals, and promising to continue developing channels to communicate effectively with its base.

CMA provides added impetus

The Consumer Association’s warnings follow on from formal action taken by the UK’s Citizens Advice rights organisation, which filed a “super-complaint” on the subject of consumer charges with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in early-September 2018.

The complaint included criticism of the long-term costs of both fixed and mobile communications products, among other essential services. In the mobile sector, Citizens Advice highlighted contracts that do not separate the cost of the handset from the services cost element, which can result in substantial overspending by consumers after the initial contract periods expires.

Citizens Advice asked the CMA to come up with an outline of how the issue can be addressed, with a particular focus on reducing the risks faced by more vulnerable customers, who are typically the ones who do not switch. In response, the CMA opened an investigation into the matter, and in mid-December 2018 issued its own call for greater powers to address the issue, and outlined a series of reforms that will be addressed in a future BTwatch.

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