European operator Sky has confirmed a new partnership with Telefónica UK, enabling it to add a range of mobile voice and data services to its customer offering.
Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Telefónica UK will give Sky wholesale access to 2G, 3G and 4G services over its popular nationwide network. Leveraging its market-leading capabilities in customer service and innovation, Sky plans to launch its first mobile telephony services to customers in 2016.
“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. “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.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, comments: ”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.”