Time was, a mobile phone network would promise good coverage for calls and texts and that was that. Things have changed, and the latest announcement from EE, the biggest mobile network in the UK, shows how. The company has just revealed partnerships with Norton and Verisure.
EE Smart Home Security is a 24/7 monitored home alarm package, installed by Verisure security engineers and monitored 24 hours a day by Verisure’s Alarm Receiving Center, which allows customers to speak to the Alarm Center at any time through an SOS feature. This is different from self-monitored set-ups and the company claims a target response time of 60 seconds.
There are two bundles. One is aimed at flats and apartments, which costs $29 (£25) a month and the other for houses, which is $35 (£30) a month. Each has a one-off upfront fee of $58 (£50). The main difference is that the house package has extra shock sensors designed to detect intruders before they enter the home. Additionally, house package subscribers can upgrade with a smart doorbell, smart cameras and smoke detectors, for additional monthly fees.
EE Cyber Security powered by Norton, to give it its full name, provides protection against viruses and online threats, notifying customers if their personal information is found on the dark web, for instance. It’ll also alert them if unusual login activity is spotted. It’s available in November, initially only to EE mobile customers.
Both these initiatives are unusual for mobile phone networks. As Kester Mann, an analyst at CCS Insight, comments, “EE’s push into home security and cybersecurity is the next stage on its journey to expand beyond core connectivity offers. Partnering with established brands – rather than going solo – enables it to quickly bring new products to market, without significant upfront costs. Security is a high-growth opportunity, but one also close to its connectivity roots.”
Mann also points out that the plans reflect an EE core principle, to ensure that its offers are more accessible, affordable and simpler to understand than others.
This kind of broadening of a company’s aims can work well, although there is often also a risk involved. EE’s venture looks promising.