TalkTalk Wants To Move Mobile Customers To O2 In MVNO Shutdown

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’s retreat from the mobile market continues as it invites customers to move to a discounted tariff on O2

TalkTalk is set to withdraw from the UK mobile market and will offer customers a discounted mobile tariff with partner O2 instead of renewing contracts. 

A number of users on social media have said they have been made an offer by the firm and were trying to move across. 

The company first hinted it wanted to switch off its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) back in September following a shift in strategy. 

TalkTalk Mobile 

Under former CEO Dido Harding, TalkTalk branched out into quad-play packages of broadband, landline, mobile and television services, but her replacement Tristia Harrison and Chairman Charles Dunstone have expressed a desire to return to its challenger roots. 

Earlier this year, the company told investors it would prioritise fixed infrastructure and customer services over everything else – including mobile. 

The deal with O2 means it can still offer customers quad-play packages but without the complexity, or indeed the freedom, of an MVNO. 

The company first offered mobile services back in 2010 with an MVNO agreement with Vodafone, and now has almost one million subscribers. This is a significant increase from 2014 when it had 350,000 mobile customers. 

In 2014, TalkTalk revealed its intention to replace Vodafone with O2 and create a ‘deep MVNO’ that would allow it to offload traffic from the macro network to a Wi-Fi network powered by customers’ home routers. 

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However the migration to O2 never took place and in May 2017 scaled back these ambitions dramatically. 

“As part of TalkTalk’s simplification, we’re changing how we offer mobile services,” a spokesperson told Silicon. “This agreement with O2 gives TalkTalkcustomers access to a wider range of great value 4G services. It’s great news for customers and allows TalkTalk to continue investing in our fixed network, delivering even better landline, broadband and TV services.”

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