TalkTalk Replaces Vodafone With O2 4G MVNO Deal

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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TalkTalk says new MVNO partnership will boost business and consumer mobile services and could let it create hybrid mobile network using home routers

TalkTalk has signed a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with Telefonica UK (O2)  that will boost the former’s mobile service and potentially allow it to offer a hybrid mobile network similar to the one planned by BT.

The deal replaces an existing MVNO partnership with Vodafone and will allow TalkTalk to continue to offer 2G, 3G and 4G services to its 350,000 mobile customers – 9.5 percent of its total user base.

TalkTalk is aggressively courting businesses with cheap broadband and mobile products while it also wants to sell quad-play packages of mobile, broadband, landline and television services to consumers.

TalkTalk 4G

Charles Bligh TalkTalk (2)“This is a significant development for TalkTalk, building on our success in mobile to date,” says TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding. “We are ideally placed to benefit from the market shift to quad-play, with a sizeable and growing number of customers already choosing to take mobile from us.   We see real opportunities in both the near term and further out, to work with Telefónica UK to further accelerate our quad-play growth.”

“We are pleased to be able to announce our commercial MVNO agreement with TalkTalk, which builds on our heritage of being the trusted provider for many notable MVNO, public and private sector organisations in the UK,” adds Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2. “We welcome the start of what we hope will be a successful and prosperous relationship for both parties.”

TalkTalk says access to O2 4G will build on its current plans to build a number of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) networks across the UK and could eventually allow it to offer small cell services.

BT is planning to launch consumer mobile services early next year by combining EE’s 4G network and the BT Wi-Fi network – which includes millions of home broadband customers’ routers. By offloading as much traffic as possible to the BT Wi-Fi network, BT hopes to reduce the cost of operating its mobile network and pass the savings onto customers.

TalkTalk has suggested it could do the same using its customers’ routers and its in-house spectrum, pointing out it has four million “points of presence” across the UK.

Last week, the firm published its second quarter of results, revealing it had secured 115,000 new customers, including 40,000 mobile users.

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