More mobile industry collaboration is good news for the operators – and their customers

BT has just announced plans to bundle a 4G mobile service into a complete package for Small to Medium-size Enterprises (SME) that also includes free wi-fi across the country.

This is hard evidence that SME working patterns are changing. More people are working remotely and expecting to do some heavy-duty work on their mobile that is more than just browsing the news headlines and scanning emails.

Data consumption is increasing and the average SME today has a far greater expectation on the data they allowed to use within a standard contract than they would have had even just a year ago. Small businesses need the volume of data these new contracts allow as well as the speed that 4G can offer.

This package has been delivered in collaboration between BT and another mobile company, EE. I have argued before that mobile operators will need to work together more often because their future focus will be the network quality and capacity. If they can share costs between operators on basic services then it helps all the mobile companies.

Bundled services such as this are really just the start. The mobile companies are starting to see that just offering a data package is not enough to create any market differentiation. They are likely to start becoming quite innovative in the services offered in the near future – with more partnership on the basics.

BT Tower From Primrose Hill

Photo by Taro Taylor licensed under Creative Commons

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