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Approval for BT acquisition of EE has been given
Friday 15 January 2016 09:57:12 by Andrew Ferguson

BT will very soon be welcoming EE into the BT family though this may bring some uncertainty as acquisitions always carry the risk of job losses as duplicate roles and departments are merged. The news for EE customers at this time is that EE will continue as its own business, we presume not unlike how Plusnet operates.

The acquisition has given Deutsche Telekom 12% of BT shares and Orange 4%, plus a member of the BT Board will be a Deutsche Telekom representative and will be appointed in the near future. The deal closes on 29th January 2016 and there should be some more detail in the Q3 2015/16 BT financial results due to be published on the 1st February.

Looking into the crystal ball the real benefits may be that BT Mobile and EE mobile services may see larger data bundles, perhaps even a fixed 4G Home service with an unlimited or near to unlimited monthly allowance. An expansion of BT Mobile to more than simple SIM bundles into full phone contracts looks likely too.

The acquisition will see questions raised about how BT can afford to do this sort of thing, when it is being subsidised by the Government for the roll-out of superfast broadband across swathes of the UK, in the same way that the BT Sport deals always see complaints made. The gap funding of the BDUK process is very different to the old way in which firms like British Leyland were propped up, particularly as via the clawback mechanism the public by upgrading to the faster service actually have the ability to force more money back into the public purse or to be re-cycled and used to roll-out more services.

The approval of the acquisition will have resulted in a sigh of relief from the BT Board, the next great unknown is what Ofcom will do about Openreach, even if no split occurs and a new set of rules are imposed this takes time to impose and the more radical solutions will take longer to become operational. The full split of Openreach into its own PLC favoured by many while potentially game changing will see business as usual for some time, as new products cannot appear over night and any major network rebuild will mean an extensive recruitment programme as the existing Openreach workforce already appears stretched with existing contractual obligations i.e. BDUK contracts and a larger workforce increases costs which might increase the wholesale price. The question and its the one every operator would love to know is whether the market would accept an extra £5/month on everyone's bill if it meant that the rare fault you may have will be dealt with swiftly and that full UK wide FTTH roll-outs had a clear path over the next couple of decades.


Posted by comnut 10 months ago
only problem may be more expensive sims...
Posted by zyborg47 10 months ago
I wonder how many people in the government have got shares in Bt and EE?
Too many funny handshakes.

Posted by nervous 10 months ago
"with an unlimited or near to unlimited monthly allowance."

I would have used the words "high monthly allowance" rather than "near to unlimited" since you can never get near to unlimited.

I know I'm being picky.
Posted by professor973 10 months ago
Over time I think it will go the same as Plusnet. cannot see the package we get at our EE location lasting long term - Unlimited BB, line and unlimited calls plus 1,000 minutes to mobiles for £25 all in!
Posted by chrysalis 9 months ago
which is better, highly congested unlimited 4g that runs at 200kbit, or EE allowances at high speeds. I dont want a Three clone thanks. This merger spells trouble. I also dont want to be subsidising customers who have other BT services.
Posted by generallee94 9 months ago
I agree with @chrysalis, I look towards the future worried but I suppose I'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.
Posted by JNeuhoff 9 months ago
@chrysalis: The total wireless bandwidth is somewhat limited, hence it will be difficult to offer unlimited packages at 4G speeds. I am not worried too much about EE becoming part of BT, we'll just have to wait and see what happens next.
Posted by professor973 9 months ago
@chrysalis I find very little congestion and double the speed of FTTC on 4G at the moment.
Posted by professor973 9 months ago
@JNeuhoff No sign of 3 Mobile all you can eat unlimited 4g running at 200Kbis at the moment/
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz 9 months ago
If Three 4G is congested, try 3G.
Posted by leexgx 9 months ago
on PAYG i find the local mast near me is getting very low priority compared to the contract sim i have (between 6pm and 10pm data barely does not work on PAYG, on contract i get 500kbs but i have broadband so not an issue for me)
Posted by zyborg47 9 months ago
I can not use 4G as my phone is 3G only and 3G is getting better as time goes on now that Vodafone have 4G here, the problem is 4G is still hit and miss around here and only available in certain parts of the city. So 3G is only better when I am in those certain parts of the city.
The buying of EE by BT will not affect me, as I do not intend to use EE as their service around here is awful and the closest I am getting to BT is plusnet and i am not sure how long I will be with them.

Posted by comnut 9 months ago
FTTC is Fibre To The Cabinet... The limit there is a few GIGA bits per sec..

Something that 4G(Fourth Generation, NOT Gigabits! :) ) on cellphone cannot do...
Posted by professor973 9 months ago
@comnut I am not ignorant of the above, nor do I use 4G exclusively via a restricted mobile phone, despite getting over 40Mbps up and down, which is chickenfeed compared to my B593 Lte 4G router into a laptop or PC.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
zyborg47: Of course it depends on how well the service is managed... (pricing, tower ability, etc, etc...)

There are tech that makes 3g a bit faster..

Its your choice, do you want *reliability* or an unreliable high speed mobile download??
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
Do remember that new wifi modems are now 5G or better..
Posted by zyborg47 9 months ago
@comnut ,I have been hearing from people who have 4G, either EE or vodafone, I think they are the only ones here so far, anyway, i keep hearing that 4G is not reliable and their phones fall back to 3G a lot, I hear that even from people who live in other places.
I think if I did buy another phone I would disable 4G until it got more reliable.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
I hear ya...

It would be simpler if these 'news items' linked directly to the proper forum, then it could be managed much more easily...
Posted by perryrsr 9 months ago
Perhaps this acquisition will allow BT to cover some of the final 5% by using 4G wireless technology? EE have low frequency 4G which is meant to travel a relatively long way and could serve both mobiles and homes in rural areas who can't get Superfast via landlines without becoming congested.

Where FTTC / FTTP is already available, it wouldn't make sense to offer a 4G home broadband service with a high usage allowance, as the airwaves would very quickly become congested.
Posted by kijoma 9 months ago
heh "The acquisition will see questions raised about how BT can afford to do this sort of thing" . BT are a profitable commercial company with shareholders that also has received over £2Bn in state aid. how can they not afford it ? Or am i missing something?
Posted by Bob_s2 9 months ago
The split of Openreach from BT is now almost certain. Contrary to what may be claimed it is fairly straightforward to spin off Openreach as it already operates as an arms length business unit
Posted by 8skellerns 9 months ago
Got 100Mb down and 40Mb up on three 4g one night!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 9 months ago
Personal attacks and swearing are not tolerated, hence the missing posts.
Posted by professor973 9 months ago
Thanks for even handed admin this time Andrew, as it is often one sided, allowing the one that started the name calling and swearing off scott free, with the responder, though as bad the only one banned.
Posted by path6336 9 months ago
Overall sim prices would go up due to less competition (3 and O2 merging is another reduction in the total number of mobile providers as well). Plus BT don't allow tethering of data on their sims whereas EE do. I would suspect that BT would force EE to change this in order to protect their landline investment.
Posted by generallee94 9 months ago
@path6336 - I think BT would go the opposite way and enable tethering on their sim's... I believe the only reason they don't currently is due to the MVNO agreement...

Would EE's price rising by no more than RPI still remain or could this disappear with BT...
Posted by generallee94 9 months ago
I like EE for its performance and when the price increased last year it was by a 10-20p which is very fair considering the investment in mobile infrastructure where as fixed lines seem to increase on average of £2-£5 per year (Line Rental, Broadband and TV)
Posted by binary 9 months ago
andrew (of TB): "Personal attacks and swearing are not tolerated, hence the missing posts."

They're also completely unnecessary, especially when discussing technologies and a merger of two large companies!

If the future of communication is to be online, and it is destined to be rancorous and splenetic, then perhaps there's something to be said for being a Luddite and rejecting all this new-fangled stuff...
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