BT has joined the ranks of service providers publicly moving toward one unified network to support multiple services, such as residential, enterprise and mobile.
Also, the British operator unveiled its new Consumer Business unit of BT Group. Comprising BT, EE and Plusnet, the consumer division will bring together all products and services of interest to individual and residential subscribers, including broadband, mobile and WiFi networks, BT said.
"We're beginning our journey to create one converged, smart network built on our world-leading fixed and mobile networks -- going beyond 4G, 5G, WiFi and ultrafast broadband to seamlessly connect our customers wherever they are to the things that matter most to them," said Marc Allera, CEO of BT's consumer business, in a statement.
The consumer network -- which BT expects to finish deploying by 2022 -- will deliver speeds of up to 314Mbit/s to more than the 1 million BT customers eligible for high-speed broadband today, the provider said. Mobile customers will garner more time on 4G networks and BT plans to be first to market with 5G -- a promise that, no doubt, competitors will combat through their own initiatives. Finally, BT stated it will expand its WiFi hotspot presence from its existing footprint of 12,000-plus locations.
Dubbed BT Plus, the service will charge consumers under one monthly bill for all services. And if customers have problems with their residential broadband, BT's "Keep Connected Promise" provides subscribers with unlimited data on their mobile plans and a 4G WiFi Mini Hub with unlimited data so consumers can remain online during broadband outages, it said.
For its part, EE will debut high-speed broadband plans via fixed access and 4G, using the same type of backup plan as BT to ensure ongoing connectivity for home users. And, beginning June 1, EE is expanding its smart home services by partnering with Hive and Nest, along with an array of Internet of Things (IoT) device vendors, platforms and operating systems.
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Telefónica Deutschland will use Deutsche Telekom's fiber-optic cable network to connect at least 5,000 mobile base stations to support 3G and LTE networks and prepare for 5G; to accelerate rollouts, DT will use artificial intelligence on some future fiber deployments.
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After California enacted its own net neutrality law on Tuesday, heavy-hitting trade groups struck back Wednesday, filing a lawsuit to throw out a rule they claim extends beyond California and beyond the 2015 Order.
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