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BT customers can upgrade to 5G from Friday, expect more fiber broadband soon

UK telecoms provider BT is trying to be better, and will offer new services and plans to prove it.

BT will have a presence in all EE high street stores.

BT's mobile customers will be able to upgrade to 5G from Oct. 11 by piggybacking on EE's network, said the company on Wednesday. The introduction of 5G is part of a raft of changes the UK telecoms provider is introducing as part of an overhaul of its products, customer service and company culture.

The operator is bringing in a new converged plan combining home broadband and mobile services, which it's calling Halo. It will offer unlimited data and calls and include access to home tech support staff. BT customers on its Halo or Plus plans will be the first to be upgraded to 5G when it launches later this week. Likewise, those who sign up for BT's 5G or Plus services will be upgraded to Halo in November.

The company is also improving home-based services, upgrading its old analog telephone services with its HD digital voice network, rolling out new fiber and no longer selling older copper broadband where superfast broadband is available.

BT's reputation for poor customer service has been a thorn in its side in the past, but it's trying to make amends. Two years ago it had the highest number of broadband-related complaints in the industry, but now the number is below average, it says.

"We know we're not perfect and we know we've got to improve and this is just the start of that next chapter," said BT CEO Philip Jansen at a press conference in London on Wednesday.

BT's new Home Expert support staff will be complemented by routing customer service calls through hyper-local call centers whenever possible. As well as emphasizing improved customer service, the company is creating a new digital skills program that will offer training to 10 million people in the UK.