EE (telecommunications company)

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EE Limited
Type Joint venture
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1 July 2010 (2010-07-01) (by the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK)
Headquarters Hatfield, United Kingdom
Area served United Kingdom
Key people Olaf Swantee (CEO)
Neal Milsom (CFO)[1]
Services Fixed line and mobile telephony, broadband
Revenue Increase £ 6.482 billion (2013)[2]
Employees 15,000[3] (approx.)
Parent Deutsche Telekom (50%)
Orange S.A. (50%)
Subsidiaries Orange (UK)
T-Mobile UK
Website ee.co.uk

EE, formerly Everything Everywhere, is a mobile network operator and internet service provider company headquartered in Hatfield, United Kingdom. It is the largest mobile network operator in the UK, with around 28 million customers.[4] It operates under the EE, Orange and T-Mobile brands and currently only offers its services within the UK.

EE is a 50:50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange S.A., formed in 2010 through the merger of their respective T-Mobile and Orange businesses in the UK.[5][6]

In addition to Hatfield, EE has main offices in Bristol, Darlington, and London.[7]

History[edit]

Everything Everywhere logo used from 2010 until September 2012.

Origins[edit]

Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom announced plans to merge their respective UK ventures on 8 September 2009. The initial planning suggested a joint revenue of around £7.7 billion for 2008 with savings via synergies expected to total around "over £445 million annually from 2014 onwards".[8] The two companies also announced an expected investment of "£600 to £800 million in integration costs".[8] The initial press release outlined a primarily clear vision for the two brands citing that "the T-Mobile UK and Orange UK brands will be maintained separately for 18 months".[8] The merger was cleared by the European Commission on 1 March 2010.[9]

The joint venture was announced as completed on 1 April 2010,[10] and the name Everything Everywhere was announced on 11 May 2010. On the same day the company confirmed that "roaming across both networks [would be] due later in that year, at no additional cost to the customer" and further emphasised the separation of the brands at that present moment in time, saying that each brand would maintain "its own shops, marketing campaigns, propositions and service centres".[11]

The companies' network sharing plans (allowing Orange customers to utilise T-Mobile's 2G signal and vice-versa) were released to customers on 11 October 2010. The "switch-on" was rolled out utilising an opt-in page on each brand's website. However, the rollout did not initially include automatic network roaming mid-call or the two brands' 3G services.[12]

In April 2012, the T-Mobile network in Northern Ireland was switched off, meaning that all customers there roam onto Orange. However later most T-Mobile sites were turned back on as EE has a mast sharing agreement with 3.

Most of the legacy Orange network and its masts have been slowly optimised, leaving only a few thousand Orange masts left, leaving most of the legacy T-Mobile network untouched.

Retail[edit]

An EE shop

On 25 November 2010, Everything Everywhere announced further connections between the two brands by announcing the opening of six "dual-branded stores" in Tooting, Palmers Green, Hertford, Bridgend, Weston-super-Mare, and Dorchester. The six new stores were described as "concession-within-stores". This meant that a selection of Orange propositions would be sold and promoted in the three T-Mobile stores being opened and that a range of T-Mobile propositions would be merchandised in the three Orange stores. They were described as concessions as the host brand would take the overall lead.[13]

The company further expanded in retail over the following months by announcing five "new trial stores". These stores sell both brands' products, services and accessories; they were also designed to a give an "inspire, excite and educate" experience.[14] Each store has an externally Everything Everywhere–branded fascia, however it also maintains a continued emphasis that the stores represent and sell both Orange and T-Mobile. The first store launch was in Altrincham on 18 February 2010, a little over a week after the initial announcement on 10 February 2010. The other stores were launched in Bishop's Stortford, Eltham, Lowestoft and Evesham within four weeks of the Altrincham shop launch. Everything Everywhere made a concerted effort to launch stores in "white-spot areas", or stores where they had little or no existing footprint from Orange or T-Mobile.[14] During the same quarter, the company also launched a number of Orange concessions in selected HMV stores. These were designed to operate as normal Orange retail stores, however with an expected lower footfall and designed to cater for HMV's younger consumers.[14] The company removed all of these concessions from HMV shortly before the re-brand with the approximately 100 staff employed within them transferred to local stores.[15]

EE now operates over 590 EE retail stores in the UK after the re-branding of existing Orange, T-Mobile, and Everything Everywhere stores in October 2012.[16] EE announced that in February 2013 it would close 78 stores with no job losses because in several locations EE then had two stores on the same street, often close together.[17]

Staff[edit]

On 18 July 2011, Tom Alexander announced unexpectedly that he would step down as CEO. Alexander had joined Orange in 2008 and had led the company since its formation on 1 July 2010. It was announced that he would step down from his post on 31 August 2011 and therefore from 1 September 2011, he would be replaced by Olaf Swantee, who had held the position of Executive VP of European Activities and Sourcing for France Télécom in addition to being a member of EE's board. Alexander said that he would remain with the company throughout the remainder of 2011 and continue to advise Swantee in his new role.[18]

Marc Allera was appointed the Chief Sales Officer for Everything Everywhere on 1 December 2011.[19] Allera came from Hutchison 3G where he had held several high profile positions and had been accredited with vastly improving the network’s popularity by shifting its focus from voice to internet.[20] He replaced the interim appointment of Rob Shardlow from Vodafone UK and has since been widely credited with leading Everything Everywhere's growth through spearheading the launch of propositions such as T-Mobile's Full Monty plans.[21]

On 2 November 2011 Everything Everywhere announced plans to cut a further 550 back office staff, with its sites in Bristol, Darlington, Hatfield, and Paddington affected.[22][23]

'EE' - 4G network and rebranding[edit]

On 21 August 2012, Ofcom approved Everything Everywhere's request to use its surplus capacity to launch 4G services within the UK. The announcement was initially expected to allow Orange and T-Mobile customers to use the new 4G network, however the company did not immediately release specific details about how it would launch the proposition and which, if either of the two existing brands' customers, would benefit from the approval.[24] As part of Ofcom's approval of the company's roll-out of 4G it was announced on 22 August 2012 that Hutchison 3G had acquired part of Everything Everywhere's 1800 MHz spectrum.[25]

The company began to clear up suspicions regarding the future of its brands on 22 August 2012. It announced that as part of the future 4G launch it would be unveiling a third brand to sit alongside Orange and T-Mobile and that Everything Everywhere would continue to be the company's legal name.[26] Further speculation commenced on 7 September 2012 when the company announced details of a press conference on the morning of 11 September 2012, the earliest date set by Ofcom to launch 4G services. The company announced that it would release "exciting information on our new brand and the latest innovation in network technology" on this date.[27] It was also noted that this date was only 24 hours earlier than the expected launch of the latest generation of iPhone (the iPhone 5), thereby arousing suspicion that the new iPhone would support 4G and that Everything Everywhere would launch its service on this widely anticipated handset.[28] Other commentators suggested that the HTC One XL would be the first handset to launch utilising Everything Everywhere's 4G network.[29] The handsets that the company initially launched on EE are the iPhone 5 (iOS), HTC One XL (Android), Samsung Galaxy S III (Android), Samsung Galaxy Note II (Android), Huawei Ascend P1 (Android), Nokia Lumia 920 (Windows Phone), Nokia Lumia 820 (Wndows Phone). The company also announced that they would be using two 4G mobile broadband devices manufactured by Huawei - the E589 Mobile Wi-Fi device and E392 mobile broadband dongle.[30]

The company announced on 11 September 2012 that the EE brand would be used to identify its network on all of the company's devices (EE, Orange and T-Mobile), alongside its 4G service and the company's fibre optic broadband roll-out. The brand was described by EE as The Super Fast Brand. It was also confirmed that all ex-Orange and ex-T-Mobile shops would be re-branded EE overnight, but that mobile products would continue to be sold under those brands inside the stores. The EE brand has also replaced the previous Everything Everywhere corporate name.[31]

EE's 4G network along with its nationwide marketing campaign and store re-branding was officially launched on 30 October 2012. 4G coverage was initially "switched on" in 11 UK cities; London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, and Southampton.[32] During the latter part of 2012 and 2013, the company added more cities and towns.,[33][34][35][36][37][38] with plans to boost speeds in some existing locations by Summer 2013.[39] EE claims 2,000 square miles of 4G network would be added every month from launch and the goal is to cover 70 per cent of the population by the end of 2013, and 90 per cent by the end of 2014.[40]

On 20 February 2013, Ofcom announced that EE had been awarded more 4G spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands, bidding around £588 million for the spectrum.[41]

On 2 September 2013, the company's legal name was changed from Everything Everywhere Limited to EE Limited.[42]

On 5 November 2013, EE began testing LTE Advanced (LTE-A) in East London Tech City.[43] The LTE-A network will offer speeds up to 300 Mbit/s when rolled out to the public in 2014.

EE launched its first TV advertisement on 3 November 2012, four days after the company launched its 4G services and new brand. The advertisements featured Kevin Bacon and his related Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon concept. The advert initially aired on ITV during The X Factor, a prime-time slot on UK television.[44] The adverts were filmed over two days during August 2012 in Lewes,[45] a town with no EE 4G coverage.[46]

EE had early problems and issues of no signal across both its 3G and 4G networks with senior EE staff conceding they were facing 'teething problems'.[47]

Other[edit]

On 22 June 2010, Everything Everywhere announced plans to roll out HD voice calling throughout its network by the end of summer. The technology was initially trialled on Orange's network in Bristol, Reading and Southampton, before it was expanded to the rest of the UK by the end of summer.[48][49]

On 25 August 2010, it was announced that Vringo (a provider of video ringtones and personalization solutions) was entering into a partnership with Everything Everywhere. This would bring Vringo's video ringtones service to Everything Everywhere's customers. The content was initially available only to Orange UK customers through the network's WAP services.[50]

On 27 January 2011, Everything Everywhere and Barclaycard announced that they would be jointly introducing the UK's first contactless mobile payments system for consumers by early summer 2011.[51] Everything Everywhere expanded its contactless mobile payments arm by announcing a deal with Mastercard on 28 August 2012 that would see the two companies work together on introducing NFC technology and other mobile payment technologies into the UK.[52] Everything Everywhere sustained their involvement in the future of NFC technology in the UK by announcing a joint venture between themselves, Vodafone and O2. The joint venture was designed to be a "single point of contact" for all those involved in increasing the adoption of using NFC for mobile payments in the UK.[53]

EE announced the rebranding of its Orange broadband service on 30 October 2012. The Orange brand would be replaced by the EE brand alongside the launch of the companies new fibre-optic broadband service, using a Bright Box router and Openreach GEA[citation needed].[54] This change took affect on 5 November 2012 with customers seeing EE branding appear on their routers web interface. This change was delivered through a firmware upgrade.[55]

On 6 November 2012 it was announced that EE had exclusively partnered with mobile payments company iZettle. The agreement allowed EE to sell the companies mini debit/credit card readers which allow small business customers to take payments using their mobile phones. The devices initially went on sale in 297 EE stores and via EE’s telesales channel.[56]

On 14 November 2012 the company announced that the EE brand would replace the Orange brand as sponsor of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards in 2013.[57]

Operations[edit]

EE has main offices in Bristol, Hatfield, Darlington, and London and has around 15,000 staff. EE owns and operates a national 3G mobile phone network in the United Kingdom. It also has around 700 retail outlets across the country.[58] It offers its services under the T-Mobile, Orange and EE brands.

ASDA Mobile & Virgin Mobile UK[edit]

Virgin Mobile UK along with ASDA Mobile operates on the EE network under a MVNO agreement, which was most recently renegotiated in December 2010 for Virgin, and November 2013 for Asda.[59]

Joint venture with Hutchison 3G UK[edit]

On 3 September 2010, Everything Everywhere announced that Orange would join Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), the 3G network sharing joint venture formed in December 2007 between T-Mobile UK and Hutchison 3G UK (H3G UK). MBNL will become a 50/50 joint venture between Three UK and Everything Everywhere, with Orange contributing several thousand of its base stations for network sharing purposes.[60] MBNL was created after T-Mobile and Three UK agreed to pool their respective 3G infrastructures in a 50/50 joint venture. At present MBNL’s HSPA-based infrastructure covers more than 90% of the British population, and by the end of 2010 this figure is expected to rise to more than 98%, with the joint venture having already consolidated more than 7,000 of the 12,500 cell sites that the initial two partners had said will be merged by October 2010.[60]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the EE network
Frequency Protocol Class
1,800 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
2,100 MHz UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ 3G
800 MHz LTE (planned) 4G
1,800 MHz LTE 4G
2,600 MHz LTE-Advanced 4G

Controversy[edit]

EE and their subsidiaries are the most complained-about telecommunications company in the United Kingdom, according to the regulator Ofcom.[61]

In April 2013, T-Mobile UK were also embroiled in a mid contract increase controversy when they applied an above RPI increase to many Contract customers but refused to allow termination as allowed by the terms of the contract. A number of their customers complained to CISAS about the conduct of T-Mobile UK, and their handling of the matter.[62]

In early 2013 Ipsos MORI signed an agreement with the EE, wherein Ipsos MORI would commercialise the data on the company's 23 million subscribers, for example "how many of the phone users checked their Facebook accounts, or the website of their favourite shop".[63] Later that year, The Sunday Times revealed that Ipsos MORI had negotiated an agreement to sell this data to the Police and other parties. The data included "gender, age, postcode, websites visited, time of day text is sent [and] location of customer when call is made". When confronted by the paper, the Police indicated that they would no longer go ahead with the deal. Ipsos MORI defended their actions, while EE refused to comment.[64][65]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "EE Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2013". EE. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  3. ^ "EE Jobs". EE. 28 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Abboud, Leila (28 September 2010). "Everything Everywhere to expand stores, network". Reuters. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Wray, Richard (11 May 2010). "Orange and T-Mobile settle for Everything Everywhere". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Clark, Nick (12 May 2010). "Mobile giants promise Everything Everywhere". The Independent (London). Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Orange and T-Mobile merger firm to cut 1,200 staff". BBC News. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom plan to merge T-Mobile UK and Orange UK to create a new mobile champion". EE. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Cleared by EU Commission" (Press release). Everything Everywhere. Retrieved 24 July 2012. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Completion of Merger". EE. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Orange and T-Mobile Unveil Joint Venture Name, Team, Vision and Plans". EE. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Big Switch-On" (Press release). Everything Everywhere. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Concession Stores Announced" (Press release). Everything Everywhere. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c "New Look Stores" (Press release). Everything Everywhere. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Millett, Carol. "Orange removes its concessions from HMV". Mobile Magazine. Noble House Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Goldfingle, Gemma. "In pictures: EE replaces Orange, T-Mobile and Everything Everywhere fascias". RetailWeek. RetailWeek. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
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  33. ^ "EE's 4G hits nine more cities across the UK", Tech Radar.
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  35. ^ 4G now covers half UK population as EE hits 50th town
  36. ^ EE 4G Comes To 12 More UK Towns And Cities
  37. ^ EE expands 4G services to 12 additional towns
  38. ^ EE promises UK 4G to 27 more towns by June 2013
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  41. ^ "Ofcom announces winners of the 4G mobile auction". Ofcom. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
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  52. ^ "Mastercard's digital-wallet deal with Everything Everywhere". BBC News Website (BBC). 28 August 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
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  54. ^ "EE Broadband packages, new fibre offerings". EE. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  55. ^ "Summary of changes to router web interface following broadband rebranding". thinkbroadband.com. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  56. ^ Lomas, Natasha. "Mobile Payments Startup, iZettle, Partners With 4G Carrier EE For Formal U.K. Launch, Tells Square To Steer Clear Of Europe "Battle"". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  57. ^ Wilkinson, Alex. "EE Announced as Title Sponsor for the British Academy Film Awards in 2013". EE Corporate Site. Saatchi&Saatchi. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  58. ^ "Everything Everywhere renames itself EE for 4G launch". Reuters. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  59. ^ Browning, Jonathan (15 February 2011). "Everything Everywhere Fears Loss of U.K. Share With One Brand". http://www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2 March 2011. "The company also renegotiated its contract with Virgin Media Inc. to run the network for Virgin’s mobile-phone operations, Moat said. The deal was signed at the end of December, Moat said, adding that the contract has “shaped and evolved” over time. Virgin Media has more than 3 million mobile-phone subscribers." 
  60. ^ a b "Orange to link up with MBNL". Telegeography.com. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  61. ^ "Latest telecoms and pay TV complaints figures revealed". Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  62. ^ "Tmobile price increase - Page 17 - MoneySavingExpert.com Forums". Forums.moneysavingexpert.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  63. ^ Switch on and you become a goldmine | The Sunday Times
  64. ^ Secrets of 27m mobile phones offered to police | The Sunday Times
  65. ^ EE and Ipsos MORI face privacy backlash over mobile data analysis | Information Age

External links[edit]