BroadbandNetworks

Plusnet Mobile Offers 4G SIM Only Plans As BT Rebrands LIFE Mobile MVNO

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Phones4u launched LIFE Mobile in 2013, EE saved it from bankruptcy in 2014, BT bought EE in 2015, and now its PlusNet Mobile

Sheffield-based broadband provider Plusnet is to offer 4G SIM-only plans after BT decided to rebrand the LIFE Mobile mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that it acquired in the £12.5 billion takeover of EE earlier this year.

Plusnet Mobile will offer four tariffs ranging from £5 for 500MB, 250 minutes and 500 texts to £15 for 4GB and unlimited calls and texts.

All existing LIFE Mobile customers will be transferred to Plusnet as part of the rebranding exercise.

Plusnet mobile launch

plusnet guyPlusnet has no plans to offer handset for the time being and pre-registered home broadband customers will soon be informed about “special” SIM only deals.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment in our company’s history,” claimed Plusnet CEO Andy Baker. “True to our Yorkshire roots, Plusnet has always prided itself on offering customers more for less, and extending our offering to include a mobile service is a natural next step as we move to become a full-service quad-play provider.

“With the launch of Plusnet Mobile, we’ll be helping more people stay connected on-the-go with our fantastic data-packed deals and highly competitive rates.”

LIFE Mobile started out as a Phones4u MVNO operating on the EE network in January 2013 but the phone retailer went into administration in September 2014. EE purchased LIFE from administrators PwC and it has since run as a separate business.

Plusnet is owned by BT and it appears as though the company has decided to consolidate its brands and turn its Yorkshire subsidiary into a fully-fledged quad play communications provider.

“Plusnet going mobile is a great play for a big brand that has made a real name for itself in the value space,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch. “Offering 4G off the bat is also a huge step-up in the sub-£15 per month space and likely to put the cat amongst its competitors – especially in light of Virgin Mobile’s recent transition to 4G.

“As expected at this price point, this is a no frills offering without the bells and whistles of its higher priced contemporaries.

“LIFE Mobile customers will feel the benefit of moving onto EE’s extensive 4G network, but, of course, it’s vital that the transition of these customers to Plusnet is as smooth as possible.”

Quiz: What do you know about 4G?