Everything Everywhere has finally answered the long-standing question about how many mobile brands it will operate in the UK – by adding another one.
In an unusual move to run a “family” of mobile network brands in a similar way to consumer goods groups such as Unilever, Everything Everywhere said it would continue to use Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, as well as a new, as-yet-unnamed brand expected to be for its forthcoming 4G mobile broadband.
It will also continue to use the Everything Everywhere name for corporate purposes.
There had been speculation that the company would remove at least one of its brands from the market to avoid potentially confusing consumers. Most analysts favoured Orange as the single identity for all of Everything Everywhere’s operations.
Formed by the merger of France Telecom’s Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile in 2010, the company has declined, until now, to comment on the outcome of a brand review held last year.
The decision has been complicated by the reluctance of either of its parent groups to relinquish their own names in the UK, as well as some past criticism about the Everything Everywhere name.
However, the move by the telecoms regulator to allow Britain’s biggest mobile operator by customer numbers to use existing airwaves to provide next-generation 4G services has prompted it to reveal further details about how it will target customers in future.
Everything Everywhere declined to comment on the new brand name but it is expected to refer to its forthcoming 4G services prominently, given the importance that the group’s management has given to the launch of these mobile broadband services.
The company has already registered trademarks for several names using 4G in different ways.
The group could begin selling devices that use its 4G network as early as November, which would give it several months’ head start on rivals that will have to wait to buy other 4G spectrum at an auction at the end of the year.
The move to faster networks that 4G will offer is important for telecoms groups because traditional mobile phone uses such as voice and text are in decline.
Mobile operators say their future will be increasingly based on provision of data-hungry services such as video and social media.