B2B channel ‘crucial’ to success of O2’s 4G network plans


O2 to educate customers and dealers on 4G benefits ahead of its August 29 launch, while almost half of its business users are looking to adopt 4G by the end of 2014

O2 has labelled its indirect partner channel as “crucial” to the success of its 4G network.

This is according to O2’s business director Ben Dowd, who spoke to Mobile News ahead of the firm’s 4G launch on August 29 (see page 20).

Meanwhile, Vodafone revealed its 4G plans as Mobile News went to press.

Dowd (pictured) said that despite nearly 10 months having passed since EE’s 4G network launched in October 2012, there remained a lack of understanding in the market – particularly among businesses – around the potential benefits of 4G.

He added that while EE had focused on the improved speeds of 4G, O2’s message would be centred around how it could help “transform” the way in which businesses operate, boost productivity and reduce costs.

“It’s still early days for 4G in the UK,” said Dowd. “We believe that customers are still looking to understand how it can transform their business.

“EE has had exclusivity on 4G for the last nine or 10 months and has gone with the speed headline, but in the business world we are focusing more on the ability aspect.

“We see our role as an enabler in helping our customers understand what 4G will do to help their bottom line – from giving employees the ability to work on the move to providing their customers with new and better digital experiences.

“All our B2B channels including partners are critical to the success of our 4G launch.”

High business interest
Dowd revealed O2 had already received significant interest from a number of its key business customers regarding the adoption of 4G services.

He explained a recent webinar with 200 business customers resulted in almost half stating they wished to adopt 4G by the end of next year – with remote working cited as a key area.

“We’ve seen significant interest in 4G and are having good conversations with many customers. The opportunities are huge for all involved.”

Training and marketing
O2 will provide a range of methods to educate the channel and business customers to encourage 4G adoption.

O2 will host a ‘webex’ briefing session for all B2B partners on August 19, with a number of training opportunities, both direct and via distribution partners, to follow.

Business customers will also be invited to take part in O2’s ‘Discover’ sessions, which will provide a “consultation” on the benefits of 4G and how it can “transform” their business.

Larger O2 customers will receive regular updates through O2 account managers, while O2 Guru technical specialists will work with smaller businesses.