According to a report in the Financial Times, Sky has approached Telefónica regarding a possible partnership with O2, the Spanish telco’s UK mobile phone business.
The reports follow BT’s confirmed negotiations to acquire its own mobile arm in the form of UK operator EE for £12.5 billion, with Sky and Telefónica apparently having been deep in their own discussions since late last year.
“This is further evidence of the UK market’s apparently inexorable shift towards quad play services – offering TV and mobile alongside broadband and the home phone connection,” Ovum analyst Nick Thomas (Practice Leader Digital Media), told IP&TV News today. “Operators that don’t offer all four services seem terrified of being left behind, even when their core businesses (such as Sky’s TV business) are apparently strong.”
Thomas went on to add that it was likely the UK market for telecoms and media would soon boil down to four big quad-play providers – BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk – though it was “not yet clear whether consumers especially want (or will benefit from) this consolidation.”