3 said it will partner with six distributors and large dealers initially. It said it will select club members ahead of Christmas. Each will be allotted a dedicated channel manager.
3 has split the country into 23 geographic regions, and will focus on an even spread of SME connections within those areas among its six premier partners.
3 head of business sales Paul Foley said it expects its channel partners to go after vertical markets in their drive for business connections, among them financial services, IT and media.
Foley said: “We are focusing on providing our services to areas of the UK where connections are low. We need to focus on London more, for example.
“The reason we are focusing on the SME market is because other businesses are concentrating higher up the scale in the enterprise market. This has left a gap in how to serve the SME market.”
Foley admitted, however, 3’s focus on the consumer market will continue to guide the business.
“We’re not going to achieve massive market share in the business market, but we must be profitable and have presence within the SME space.
“We will never have a 50:50 split between consumer and business sales. It’s an unrealistic target. We are very focused on the consumer market, however, we will have a sizeable share of the SME market.”
The channel programme will launch in January. 3 has not confirmed the commission structure for the partners as yet.