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.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Fiber optic cable vendor Prysmian Group is now shipping its FlexRibbon Technology-based, US-sourced and made 6912 fiber MassLink Cable to service providers seeking densification for 5G or solutions for filled ducts.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!