EE wants consumers and businesses to add more devices to their 4G plans and will make products if they do not already exist
EE wants customers and businesses to connect more devices to its LTE network, starting with the launch of the 4GEE Action Camera, which lets users stream live 1080p video via 4G.
CEO Olaf Swantee outlined the company’s vision of launching products for the connected business, home and car but said the biggest opportunity at present was “connected you” – individuals adding more than one device to a tariff.
“What we’re finding is we see different behaviour from our customers,” said Swantee (pictured). “By 2017 we will sell more connected devices than smartphones. When we believe those devices should be on the market but aren’t available yet.”
EE has produced a number of its own devices before, such as cheap 4G smartphones, tablets and in-car Wi-Fi systems, and said it entered the connected camera space because it couldn’t find a similar product on the market.
The 4GEE Action Camera comes with a ruggedized case that allows for filming up to 60 metres underwater and can be controlled via the ‘Viewfinder’ watch which also provides a view of what the camera is filming. Videos can be shared via the ‘Skeegle’ platform, which EE says is more private than other services, such as Twitter’s periscope.
The Action Camera has a 13 megapixel sensor for stills, promises up to three hours of battery life and supports up to 64GB of external storage. Videos can also be viewed on a dedicated iOS and Android application
EE chief marketing officer Pippa Dunn acknowledged the camera does many things a smartphone can already do, but “can go where your mobile wouldn’t survive,” with the company demonstrating this with a stunt on the arch at Wembley Stadium.
It will fall back onto 3G in areas with poor LTE coverage – something which may happen on more remote locations such as mountains and forests – and Dunn said it would be supported with roaming plans for people who want to take the device outside the UK.
The camera is available on pay as you go (PAYG) deals, the most expensive of which is £299 up-front, on a contract-only basis, and can be added to a shared plan for £10 a month. It goes on sale on the 16 June with pre-orders starting today.
EE now has more than 10 million 4G customers and its network covers 90 percent of the UK population – figures which Swantee says shows the country is “entering a new phase of ubiquitous connectivity.”
While EE has so far focused on consumers with its Action Camera and EE TV products, he said the business sector remained a big opportunity as enterprises want employees to be more productive on the go.
“[B2B] our fastest growing market next to fixed broadband,” he said. “This is really important.”