BT and EE seek mobile network innovators

New EE chief executive Marc Allera

Competition focusing on areas such as mobile apps and services that fully utilise the speed, capacity and latency of EE’s 4G network

BT has launched its ninth ‘Infinity Lab Competition’, with a focus on finding new innovations for mobile networks.

For the first time EE, which the telecoms provider acquired for £12.5bn in January, will take part in the innovation competition alongside BT Mobile, with EE CEO Marc Allera (pictured) sponsoring the project. It is open to all start-ups, who must enter by August 7.

The competition, which first launched in September 2013, aims to offer new experiences to mobile users. Areas of focus include mobile apps and services that fully utilise the speed, capacity and latency of its 4G network; and innovations that enhance the customer experience (analytics and personalisation), as well as network efficiency – especially in the most challenging parts of the UK.

‘Dragons’ Den’ style
Shortlisted companies will be invited to Wembley Stadium on September 6 to present their ideas to both BT and EE, with the winners announced at the ‘Dragons’ Den’-style panel event on September 12.

Both companies will then work with the winner to evaluate their business and technology to explore future opportunities to work together commercially.

The winner will also be able to take advantage of expertise from both companies’ research, engineering, commercial and marketing teams, with the prize also including six months’ membership to the TechHub entrepreneur community. This contains more than 750 start-ups in six countries, with members raising more than $1bn (£760m).

Innovation drivers
Allera said: “We are at the forefront of personal communication, providing 4G to millions of customers across the UK. We have built one of the most advanced 4G networks anywhere in the world and are constantly on the lookout for ideas that utilise its strengths and provide amazing new experiences for our customers.

“We are looking for companies and individuals that are driving mobile communication innovation, and encourage relevant start-ups to come and pitch their products to BT and EE.”

BT Consumer chief executive John Petter added: “We are reaching out to entrepreneurs around the world, seeking brilliant and simple ideas which can help shape future services used by our customers. We’re inviting entrepreneurs and start-ups to pitch their products and services to our leadership teams and look forward to working with them to help develop pioneering mobile innovations.”