Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Telefónica will give Sky wholesale access to 2G, 3G and 4G services; it will add to Sky’s existing broadband, fixed line and TV services. Launched in 1998 Sky Broadband has a customer base of 5 million and is number 2 in the market. In addition Sky has developed its mobile TV service Sky Go with 5.7 million registered users.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky 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.”
Telefónica UK has committed to 98% 4G coverage by 2017.
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of Telefónica UK, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Sky to our roster of innovative, successful partnerships, through which we help partners grow their offer to customers. Sky understands the importance of a strong network and excellent customer experience and has made us a trusted partner to help deliver brilliant services. This will widen consumer choice still further and demonstrates the lively competitiveness of the UK market. We’re looking forward to working with Sky.”
Suggestions of a potential deal emerged last week, just as Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong agreed exclusive talks over the purchase of Telefónica’s UK operations.
The UK mobile market is very much in play following the bid by BT’s £12.5 million bid for EE, the joint brand of Orange and Deutsche Telekom. BT had looked at O2, its own former network, and a disposal is still on the cards.