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Dealers ‘big part’ in EE’s progress

Paul Withers
November 7, 2014

Europe’s largest 4G provider admits past lessons have been learnt and it is winning in the market

EE has said it is learning from the mistakes in the indirect channel, claiming dealers are playing a “big part” in the strong momentum it is building in B2B.

The operator’s chief executive Olaf Swantee (pictured) made the comments to Mobile News following the publication of EE’s third quarter financial results for the three months ending September 30.

EE had 6,200 B2B/enterprise customers at the end of Q3, up from 5,500 in the previous quarter. New customers on board and using 4G in the quarter included MasterCard, Reading Borough Council and Scotia Gas.

Strained relationship
“We have certainly gained strong momentum in B2B,” said Swantee. “We are attracting new customers and some big accounts are joining our network.”

Since the launch of the EE brand in October 2012, the operator’s relationship with dealers has been strained, with many claiming they are owed millions of pounds as a result of discrepancies in commission payments.

In August, EE began offering settlements to B2B dealers, issuing a cut-off point for all outstanding claims dating back to 2012, with any discrepancy between August and November to be resolved at a later date.

Despite the issues, Swantee insists EE is fully committed to the indirect channel and stressed the importance of its role.

“Dealers play a big part in this,” said Swantee. “There is a lot of talk around Phones 4u and development of the indirect distribution channel, but we are very committed to this channel in B2B.

“Businesses want to have someone that is local and always there for them, and the indirect channel is playing an important role in the development of our B2B business.

“We’re the first to recognise we haven’t always been perfect in that area, but we are improving.”

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