Virgin Media and O2 have announced this morning that they are joining forces to create a vast new network that will rival BT. This 50-50 joint venture will bring together Virgin Media’s fast fibre broadband and O2’s expansive mobile network which now offers 5G speeds in many parts of the UK.
Virgin and O2 say that bringing their platforms together will mean consumers will enjoy the highest-quality customer experience possible, with superior connectivity and entertainment both inside and away from home.
The combination of the networks also creates a stronger fixed and mobile competitor in the U.K. market, supporting the expansion of Virgin Media’s giga-ready network and O2’s 5G mobile deployment for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the public sector.
BT already has its joint broadband and mobile offerings with the firm buying EE back in 2016. This has allowed them to boost the connectivity for customers and offer easy access to both services with high street stores now supplying both BT and EE services and support.
It’s unclear how O2 and Virgin Media customers will benefit from the new venture but it’s likely that the firms will now offer mobile and broadband in bundles which could help consumers pay lower prices and simplicity with one monthly bill.
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Virgin Media and O2 are joining forces
Speaking about the update Telefonica Chief Executive Officer, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, said, “Combining O2’s number one mobile business with Virgin Media’s superfast broadband network and entertainment services will be a game-changer in the U.K., at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater or more critical.
“We are creating a strong competitor with significant scale and financial strength to invest in UK digital infrastructure and give millions of consumer, business and public sector customers more choice and value.
“This is a proud and exciting moment for our organisations, as we create a leading integrated communications provider in the U.K.”
And Mike Fries, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, said, “We couldn’t be more excited about this combination. Virgin Media has redefined broadband and entertainment in the U.K. with lightning fast speeds and the most innovative video platform. And O2 is widely recognized as the most reliable and admired mobile operator in the U.K., always putting the customer first.
“With Virgin Media and O2 together, the future of convergence is here today. We’ve seen the benefit of FMC first-hand in Belgium and the Netherlands. When the power of 5G meets 1 gig broadband, U.K. consumers and businesses will never look back. We’re committed to this market and are right behind the Government’s digital and connectivity goals.”
O2 is already the UK’s largest phone company with around 34 million users and Virgin Media has about six million customers who access TV and broadband through the firm.