Liberty Global brings its UK and Ireland operations closer with Virgin Media refresh
Irish cable provider UPC is to be-renamed Virgin Media as owner Liberty Global looks to take advantage of the famous brand name ahead of the launch of its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the country later this year.
Virgin Media UK was formed in 2007 through the merger of NTL and Telewest, and was purchased by Liberty Global in 2013.
UPC became part of Virgin Media in December 2014 and figures for the UK and Ireland have been combined in some of Liberty Global’s recent financial statements.
Virgin Media Ireland
“Introducing the Virgin Media brand to Ireland is a big investment in our business and our future,” said Magnus Ternsjö, CEO of UPC Ireland. “In almost every corner of the world, the Virgin brand is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit in delivering more for customers, which is exactly what we’re going to do by building even further on all our innovation and achievements to date.”
“We are delighted to bring the Virgin Media brand to Ireland,” added Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “We are proud of the way it has revolutionised the UK market, improving customer service, increasing speeds and bringing more choice to our customers. Building on the strong platform in Ireland, I know we will do great things together with Liberty Global and shake up the Irish market even further.”
UPC Ireland offers fixed broadband, landline and television services, but will soon offer mobile services too. Three was ordered to open up its network to two MVNO providers as a condition for approval of its merger with O2 Ireland. The other, Carphone Warehouse’s ‘iD’ went live last week.
The new Virgin Media Ireland competes mainly with Sky Ireland and Eircom, although it could face renewed competition from Vodafone, which is building a £358 million state-assisted fibre to the premise network in the country using existing electricity infrastructure.