Customers will be given access to a new BT Sport HDR app that will be exclusive to 5G plans and worth a nominal £15 per month. Users will be able to cast the HDR pictures to their TV. The standard BT app is also there at £10 per month plus a Video Data Pass thsat includes selected video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BT Sport, TV Player and MTV Play without using your data. The video services are dubbed ‘swappable benefits’, another is a Gamer’s Data Pass, also with zero-rated data.
From today, consumers and businesses can pre-order the new devices, including smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and Oppo. However, Huawei product has been dropped from the offer. It follows Google’s decision to pull its branded apps from future Huawei phones.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: “This is the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections. We’ve started with 5G in some of the busiest parts of the UK, the widest range of 5G devices in the UK, and plans that give customers the best mobile connection and great benefits.
“We’re adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network to increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. 5G will create new experiences with augmented reality, make our customers’ lives easier, and help launch entirely new businesses that we haven’t even imagined. We’re upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month from today to connect more places to what 5G can enable.
EE is launching 5G in what its describes as the “busiest parts of the UK”. It expects customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps even in the busiest areas. Some customers will break the one gigabit-per-second milestone on their 5G smartphones. The fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps.
Plans start from 10GB (£54 per month) and extend up to 120GB (£74 per month).
Paolo Pescatore, PP Foresight, Tech, Media & Telco Analyst said asking customers to pay a premium will be challenging. “Articulating the merits and offering features like swappable benefits will be paramount. Bundling a range of services and content will allow the telco to differentiate over rivals. This is a sensible approach given the huge cost of acquiring spectrum and rolling out expensive new network technology. The initial premium will quickly erode as we’ve seen with previous generations.”
In addition to the six launch cities, in 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. And in 2020, even more towns and cities will get 5G sites including: Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.