TalkTalk is one of the leading mobile and broadband providers in the UK. While their history has not been without rocky waters, they are committed to bringing low-cost mobile and broadband services to UK residents. Let’s take a look at who they are, what they have accomplished and what they offer to their customers.
TalkTalk Telecom Group plc was founded in 13 years ago in 2003 as part of the Carphone Warehouse Group PLC. It offers TV, broadband, phone and mobile services. TalkTalk's initial mission was to provide cheaper landline call rates than its biggest competitor, BT. In 2004, TalkTalk launched their broadband services.
With a growing customer base in 2006, TalkTalk took a bold step to bring free broadband to the UK. It was easy to migrate new customers onto its own network. In the next year, TalkTalk bought AOL’s UK broadband business, and two years later they bought Tiscali’s UK operations. With that deal, TalkTalk became the biggest provider of residential broadband in the UK.
In April 2009, TalkTalk started to unmerge and in 2010 became a company in its own right, thanks to Charles Dunstone. Dido Harding became TalkTalk's first CEO. TalkTalk’s first big call was to offer free calls between TalkTalk customers. In 2005, they dug into local loop unbundling which enabled fair competition, price flexibility for customers and more innovative products and services.
In August 2012, TalkTalk has become the UK's second biggest service, aside from Virgin Media, that offers all four of these services. TalkTalkis listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2014, TalkTalk started to roll out a 1GB fibre network to York in collaboration with Sky and CityFibre. This was to deliver on demand for faster internet, every day, all the time.
In 2015, TalkTalk bought Blinkbox, the on-demand entertainment service. They also purchased Tesco's broadband business. Blinkboxwas integrated into TalkTalk's existing infrastructure of services. In 2015, TalkTalk operated at a net income of £72 million.
In 2016, TalkTalk has attracted 76,000 new fibre broadband customers to their services. Their fibre broadband services now form 21% of their customer base. This company has grown o be one of the best companies in the region due to its wide range of customers and good customer relationship.
At the end of 2016, TalkTalk rolled out its Next Generation YouView service. Their 1.3 million customers enjoy a simpler and cleaner design and an image-led layout. Shortcuts to popular apps and programs have been added to the service. Customers are also able to record programming from their mobile, after a gentle reminder. This way they are able to record their show even if they’re not at home. In addition, the access to sports, kids and entertainment boosts have been made easier to navigate. A quicker boot-up now also enhances the overall TV experience. These new innovations show that TalkTalk is all about listening to their customers and bringing new news that will address customers’ needs without adding a hefty price tag.
TalkTalk is very serious about bringing fast internet to the masses. This year, they have sided themselves with Three in the Make the Air Fair campaign which calls for a mandate that no mobile network may own more than 30% of the UK’s mobile spectrum. They believe that this cap will give equal opportunity to all providers and will make it possible to still provide services at a low cost to consumers. TalkTalk is concerned about the consumers’ fears that a monopoly on mobile services will hike up prices and they aim to do something about it.
In reaction to the appalling number of times that broadband providers have introduced price hikes over the last two years, TalkTalk has announced that they will not change their broadband prices for the next 18 months. This offer will be available to existing users and new users. Trisha Harrison, Consumer Manager Director at TalkTalk, talked the talk when she said that “We’re acting on what customers have told us and are proud to be leading the way in offering the value for money and peace of mind that people deserve. It has never been more important for people to know that they are getting a good deal and paying a fair price.”
The TalkTalk Executive Committee consists of four visionary individuals. Charles Dunstone is the chair of the executive committee while Dido Harding is the chief executive officer. Amy Stirling is the chief financial officer, while David Goldie is the group commercial director.
TalkTalk is not just about cheap talk. They invest heavily in the community. Probably the most prominent example is their long-term partnership with Ambitious About Autism. Since 2002, TalkTalk has raised over £1 million for Ambitious About Autism. They have worked together to raise an online community and hub for people on the autism spectrum and their families to discuss the issues around their condition. This forum is called Talk About Autism.
TalkTalk Group also cares about digital inclusion. They recognize that the internet is a powerful tool and that enabling those that do not have access or the skills to access the internet will bring positive power to the community. There are still over 12 million individuals in the UK who do not have basic internet skills. These individuals are usually older, disabled or simply can’t afford to have the internet. This is one of the reasons why TalkTalk keeps their prices low. TalkTalk has teamed up with the Good Things Foundation who helps the digitally disadvantaged to learn online skills. TalkTalk offers exclusively low packages to the learners from this program who are unable to afford the internet at home.
TalkTalk is also very aware that the internet is just as unsafe as the outside world. In 2011, they created the breakthrough service, Homesafe – a filtering service for parents to control what their children are allowed to see on the internet and what not. TalkTalk is also involved with Internet Matters who deals with sharing information on how to keep children safe online.
TalkTalk holds by its initial vision by playing in the value for money game. They target audiences who have never been able to invest in broadband or pay-TV services. With marketing spend of £2 million, they can reach a fair number of potential new clients and create trust with their existing clients. They do their best to regularly offer deals to their cost-conscious customers and to provide excellent after-sales services.
TalkTalk Group split their service between consumer customers and business customers:
TalkTalk caters for families with their free family calling service on their mobile contract as well as their wide array of TV package booster packs with a sports option for dad and a Disney option for the kids. They also offer free parental control as they know how important it is to protect your children against programming intended for older viewers.
They are aimed at heavy users, as TalkTalk only offers unlimited data downloads on their broadband packages. This means that they know that their customers love watching TV and films and now they can do so at an affordable price compared to other service providers.
TalkTalk talks to consumers who don’t care too much about the bells and the whistles and just want to have safe and reliable internet, TV and phone options.
TalkTalk offers a variety of deals for a business of any size: from small businesses with less than 50 employees to large players on the FTSE 100 list. In fact, TalkTalk supported the Small Business Saturday annual event that showcases the best in small businesses. TalkTalk likes to see small business thrive and recognise that small business owners are the backbone of our communities. Small businesses don’t have the resources that big corporate giants have and TalkTalk is there to support them and to help them obtain affordable high-speed internet and voice services.
TalkTalk is very visible on social media and recognise that this is an instant way to connect with their customers. They have over 300 000 fans on Facebook and over 37 000 followers on Twitter. They use their social media accounts to solve problems and give service updates between 8-10 pm on Mondays till Fridays and 9-5 pm over the weekend.
TalkTalk provides a seven-day catch-up TV service with watch, pause or record Freeview Channels. They offer unlimited access to over 4000 shows plus films on demand. The TV service comes with a free YouView box if you order the TalkTalk Plus TV package. The HD-enabled YouView box is what TalkTalk TV is all about. It is connected to your broadband which means that you can stream films and shows of the internet. It brings a number of TV services together to bring a wide variety of shows and films to your living room.
TalkTalk TV users get all the Freeview channels together with a host of pay-per-view programming. Viewers on the Plus package receive an additional of 30 entertainment channels and the capacity to record shows. It is also possible to get a booster pack which hooks you up with Sky, Disney and SET Asia and Zee T, depending on which one you take:
· TV Starter Boost brings you a selected number of Sky news and sports channels
· Entertainment Boost adds more premium entertainment channels like E! and Comedy Central in addition to the core Sky TV programming
· Kids Boost brings all the Disney channel as together with Nickelodeon to keep the little ones entertained
· Asian Boost brings SET Asia and Zee TV for the best that Bollywood has to offer
· Sky Sports Boost hooks you up with 6 Sky sports channels
· Sky Cinema Boost gives you get in touch with 11 movie channels plus thousands of over demand films
· Sky Sports plus Cinema Boost brings the best of sports and cinema to your YouView box
At the moment, TalkTalk TV offers TalkTalk Plus packages for £28 in a month plus TalkTalk Essential packages for £20 per month.
There are two broadband and phone packages to choose from at TalkTalk. The first is the standard broadband package with a download speed of 17 MBps. The second is a fibre service with a download speed of 38 MBps. Both services run over 18-month contracts.
To buy into these services you need a home phone landline, which can be fixed for you by TalkTalk. You can even buy extra features such as international calling for a monthly charge.
Broadband customers also get a free TalkTalk SIM card for mobile phones which includes a 500MB of data monthly. You can also add a mobile phone contract to your bundle for £5/month. You can choose from handsets such as Samsung Galaxy and Sony Experia as well as more simple phones for less tech-savvy users. This package includes unlimited free family calls, free text alerts, free voicemail service, and free calls to customer care.
All TalkTalk deals have fixed prices for 18 months. Line rental is always included in the price as well as mobile SIMs. There are two basic options:
· Broadband and Phone
· Broadband and TV
TalkTalk Fast Broadband offers free set-up and 17 MB of download speed. For the first 12 months, you pay £20 in a month plus after that you pay £25.50. This deal lasts until 28 January.
For Faster Fibre internet with a maximum download speed of 38MB, you pay £28.50 for the first 12 months and then £32 for the next 6 months. This amounts to a whopping £63 savings. What’s more, the fibre connection fee is at half price! This offer also lasts until 28 January.
For the TalkTalk Fast Broadband +TV package you can now pay £20 per month for the first 12 months, and after that, you pay £22.95. This includes 17MB of download speed, the basic TV package and a £35 saving.
For the TalkTalk Fast Broadband + TV Plus package you also save £35 until 28 January. The deal includes half price off the TV Plus box, 17 MB download speed. For the first 12 months, you pay £28 and £30.95 for the remaining six months of the contract.
TalkTalk is indeed the value for money overall mobile, TV and broadband service in the UK. It competes very successfully against big players, while staying true to their vision to bring cheap and fast internet to the homes of UK customers.