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BT with free mobile broadband for small businesses
Monday 20 October 2008 14:04:13 by Andrew Ferguson

BT Retail is dangling the carrot of a mobile broadband dongle in front of small & medium business customers as an extra incentive to sign up for their BT Business Total Broadband packages.

The packages that are eligable are Option 2 (£26.99 per month) and Option 3 (£40.50 per month), both offer unlimited access and a wireless hub and 500 minutes of BT Openzone wireless hotspot access. The downside to the free dongle being that you are required to enter into a 24 month contract. A health check for a single PC is also included in the deal, but must be taken up within 28 days of ordering the service.

The mobile broadband is provided via Vodafone and carries a 1GB data allowance, so will be suitable for some web browsing and using email when out and about, or if for some reason the ADSL broadband were to fail you could use the mobile dongle as a temporary backup.

Existing BT business customers can get the same deal, but only if they extend their contract by another 24 months. While some will suggest BT is abusing its position by offering such a lengthy lock-in, this is not very different to many other providers who offer upgrades and other incentives as a way of getting people to agree to a new contract, and thus keeping churn levels as low as possible.

For existing BT Business Total Broadband customers there is another change on the way. While up to 8Meg broadband has been around since 2006 from BT Retail, those who elected to stay on a fixed speed product for stability will be finding themselves moving to the rate adaptive products. Customers who will be affected should have received a letter.

"The change is necessary due to the withdrawal of our Fixed Speed broadband products, and your upgrade will take place during November or December. There may be a slight interruption to your service during the changeover, with your connection stabilising soon after. Speeds may vary for up to 10 days in order to optimise available line speeds."

Excert from letter to fixed speed BT Business Total customers

We should point out that the comments about the speed varying for ten days may be misleading. Under the rate adaptive products the ADSL modem will always connect at the best speed possible for the current line conditions and the set of parameters it is told to use. Thus while many will see speeds stabilise to a great extent, speeds can and do vary beyond the ten day period. For those on highly unstable lines there are fixed speed profile options available on the up to 8Meg products. We have a FAQ section that covers the common questions people have on this topic.

There is an upside to this change, many people will actually see speeds improve, and fairly simple wiring changes like adding an I-Plate can increase speeds on the up to 8Meg products or improve stability.

This change actually reflects what is happening at the BT Wholesale level, with the Home 500, 1000 & 2000 products coming to an end. Many broadband providers only provide rate adaptive connections already, but BT Retail has on longer lines often opted to only provider a fixed 0.5Mbps connection.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
WOW 24 month contract with them for a free dongle thing or 24 month contract with another provider and a free laptop and dongle thing.... Hard choice!

As to the iplate and what they want to charge for that.... excuse me while i go and laugh myself senseless.
Posted by uniquename over 8 years ago
@CB - surely there's no need for you to laugh [tongue].

But if I was still in business, I would have to agree that it's a pretty poor deal.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Agree uniquename, just taking the iplate... Any company worthy where you pay them a monthly fee and maybe complain about your internet speed would probably supply and maybe even fit an iplate for free to try to help... Not BT though.. As to the wireless dongle, whats that 10 quids worth of equipment free? Well worth getting stuck in a 2 year contract over LOL.. Poor deal doesnt even come close to describing it.
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
"As to the wireless dongle, whats that 10 quids worth of equipment free?"
Usually costs £40-£50 for a 3G adaptor or tie you into a monthly contract with a mobile provider
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Usually costs £40-£50 for a 3G adaptor or tie you into a monthly contract with a mobile provider"

Errrrr this ties you into a 24 MONTH contract ANYWAY......
Further quote"The mobile broadband is provided via Vodafone"
You get one free direct from vodaphone if you go with them and have a shorter contract.
My god you can even buy certain routers nowadays and get one of the things bundled free
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
Regardless of the value of the dongle, I susspect you may be confusing it with a Wifi adaptor.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Nope, usb modems from vodaphone are free and available on a contract shorter than this BT offering. As to free usb 3g modems when you buy a router... Three just for starters do that.
So do independant well known web sites that sell ADSL equipment.
This so called offer from BT compared to what some of the competition offer is poor... Nothing more.
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
I have no interest in it, but compared what equivalent package?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"compared what equivalent package?"

Nearly every mobile broadband provider in the UK have better deals than this, they all basically offer 3g usb modems with a contract... Many with a 24 month contract will even give you a so called free laptop
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
For you it may seems obvious but for many the costs are neither obvious nor straight forward, depending on the availability of fixed line broadband and LLU, current mobile provider and contract terms and network coverage. This package is bound to be of interest to the many that already have fixed line broadband with BT and the addition of mobile broadband could be an added bonus.
Those that have specific needs in one or two areas have other options, it is a varied market place.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"This package is bound to be of interest to the many that already have fixed line broadband with BT and the addition of mobile broadband could be an added bonus."
Not at £40.50 it shouldnt and again for 24 months.... Hardly "FREE" and hardly a good offer

Posted by uniquename over 8 years ago
O2 - http://shop.o2.co.uk/promo/o2mobilebroadband includes Home Broadband free for 12 months (http://broadband.o2.co.uk/free/freehomebroadbands.jsp). Also looks like a free dongle to me.
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
"Not at £40.50 it shouldnt and again for 24 months"
But people do buy that package so an added service has makes it better value if the mobile broadband is of use.
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
uniquename, that must be a new offer. Looks very interesting. As a BE customer I am quite happy so may consider switching to o2 if the mobile broadband is any use to me. Thanks
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
If you want mobile broadband look at O2, Three and vodaphone just for starters... All charge less per month but give you more, all will also give you free dongle things with a shorter contract than this (some 12 months some 18 months).
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
BT are providing a fixed line service with mobile as an extra in one package. 3 dont have a fixed line service. A lot of people like to have as much as possible in one package.
The o2 package looks interesting as does the Vodafone one, but many will look to BT as their 1st option because of their size, and if it ticks all the box's they wont go ant further. Now they provide mobile broadband its and box ticked.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"many will look to BT as their 1st option because of their size"
Oh you mean the stupid element that like to pay more for less
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