Feature Article

September 12, 2012

EE Launches in United Kingdom

Today, Everything Everywhere announced the launch of EE, the new branding for Everything Everywhere, the business that combines Orange and T-Mobile assets in the U.K. market, primarily serving consumer customers, but also will get into the fixed network broadband business.

Somewhat confusingly, the Orange and T-Mobile brands will also continue to be supported. That means EE will support three to five distinct retail brands. There is EE, then Orange, T-Mobile, and also Orange Business and T-Mobile Business.

EE will be the only one of the three to five retail networks to support the new Long Term Evolution fourth generation network. In that sense, EE will be positioned as a premium brand, while Orange and T-Mobile only offer 3G services for consumers, while the respective Orange Business and T-Mobile Business brands continue to focus on business customers.

EE also says it will get into the fixed network business as a supplier of broadband connections.

That might strike some as a bit cumbersome or confusing. To be sure, creating a new brand from a major joint venture is not easy. Choosing a moniker, such as “Everything Everywhere”, leads almost immediately to the “Nothing Nowhere” appellation. The new branding as “EE” is arguably easier to say.

Apparently, the Orange And T-Mobile retail outlets also will be rebranded “EE.” So you might wonder why the consortium is bothering to support three distinct sub-brands. Creating a new identity for the 4G brand is one rationale.

EE will be the only brand offering 4G mobile services, but EE also will be selling fixed network broadband, as well.

The legacy Orange and T-Mobile brands will sell 3G only. Also, EE is aiming at consumer customers, as the separate mobile business units will continue to operate under their own names as well.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, noted that EE also is launching LTE services in London, Bristol, Cardiff, and Birmingham. The new EE brand provides mobile services to 27 million people.

Irrespective of the precise choice of “EE” as the premium brand, some might wonder what parent company EE actually gains by supporting so many distinct brands. That might lead some to speculate that the Orange and T-Mobile brands might eventually disappear.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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