Sky will launch its own mobile service next year and it’ll use O2’s network to reach punters.
The deal will allow Sky to utilise Telefónica’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the UK to provide its client base with a raft of extra services by 2016.
The company plans to offer mobile voice and data services using the O2 network, allowing it to fully compete with the likes of Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT, who currently offer a complete range of TV, broadband and phone services to customers.
See how an O2-Three merger could boost availability of 4G by comparing spectrum holdingsSky’s decision to become an MVNO isn’t a massive surprise. The company has a huge customer base and rumours that it would be launching its own mobile network have been circulating on and off since 2005, though it was thought that Vodafone would be the network provider of choice should a deal ever come to fruition.
It’s unlikley that Sky’s agreement will be affected by the potential sale of O2 to Hutchison Whampoa, the company which owns Three.
This £10.25bn acquisition is currently well under way, and it would see Three step up to become the UK’s biggest network provider, ahead of EE, which itself is currently undergoing scrutiny ahead of a proposed takeover by one of Sky’s biggest rivals, BT.
Sky’s Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: “As the UK’s leading brand for home entertainment and communications, Sky has a proven ability to launch new services, at scale. We know our 11.5 million customers trust Sky to offer them the best quality and choice and have an appetite to take more from us.
“Through our partnership with Telefónica UK, we can build on our expertise in content, innovation and service to launch a range of exciting new services and exploit the opportunities for growth in the fast-changing mobile sector.”
O2’s own Chief Executive, Ronan Dunne echoed Mr Darroch’s enthusiasm: “We’re pleased to welcome Sky to our roster of innovative, successful partnerships, through which we help partners grow their offer to customers.”