BT and EE have launched a new home Wi-Fi service which the company describes as “unbreakable” – but we’ll believe it when we see it.
BT Halo 3+ introduces the new Hybrid Connect device, which pairs with the Smart Hub 2 router and automatically connects to the EE mobile network for backup, should broadband connection fail. When connection is restored, it will automatically defer back to the fixed connection, supposedly minimising any interruption to internet use.
Given the amount of time spent indoors over the past year due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, BT’s consumer broadband network has seen an increase of over 60% in download traffic, as people turn to Wi-Fi for working from home (opens in new tab), home schooling and, of course, Netflix-ing.
With BT Halo 3+ and the Hybrid Connect home device, the broadband provider aims to offer the first example of real convergence between broadband and mobile network services. Hybrid Connect will also work with BT Complete Wi-Fi, so whether connected to broadband or the EE (opens in new tab) network, the risk of losing internet connection is minimised even in those hard-to-reach places in the home, the company says.
The new partnership between the two providers is also set to offer a good option to those moving to a new home. Hybrid Connect is always on, supposedly providing instant connectivity for new customers while they wait for their fixed line broadband to be activated. BT says the device is sent out the same day if ordered by 3pm, with 24-hour delivery.
Bells and whistles
Customers signing up for BT Halo 3+ will also gain access to a host of other features, including full fibre upgrade at no extra cost, access to BT’s Home Tech Experts, BT’s price promise (ensuring no end-of-contract price rises) and several mobile benefits.
As part of the package, all BT Mobile customers within a BT Halo household will benefit from a double data boost free of charge. BT also says those who opt to take out an EE mobile contract will enjoy six-months half price on a new EE Mobile Smart plan at launch, marking the first of further offers encouraging customers to buy from both brands.
BT Halo 3+ will be available nationwide from February 5 in the UK for a hefty £65.99 per month for new customers, with existing BT customers eligible to contact the company to discuss their options. That marks an eye-watering figure when compared to the average monthly package cost in the UK, which a recent ThisIsMoney survey put at £27.39, but may pose an attractive option to those frustrated by frequent dips in internet connectivity during lockdown.
Hybrid Connect is also available as an add-on for new and existing BT broadband customers at £7 per month, while complete Wi-Fi can be added to existing broadband plans for £10 per month.
It remains to be seen whether BT’s new service is indeed “unbreakable”, as it claims, but it would be nice to envision a reality where we’re not cut out of Zoom calls and game lobbies several times a week.
- UK broadband usage doubled in 2020