O2 to follow Czech fixed model


O2 gave its top dealer and distributor partners a glimpse of its mobile/fixed line vision in Prague, Czech Republic, earlier this month.

O2 did not reveal specific details, but the move is expected to follow the O2 Czech Republic model, glimpsed by select channel partners at a conference in late February.

O2 parent Telefonica acquired Czech operators Cesky and Eurotel Praha for $3.5 billion in 2005, merged and rebranded them O2. It is offering Czech customers mobile and fixed line voice and broadband in single packages.

O2 UK business sales director Ben Dowd told Mobile News in December O2 would be in a position to offer businesses a fully unified service, covering voice and broadband services using both mobile and fixed line, in the first half of 2009.

O2 UK chief executive Ronan Dunne (pictured) told Mobile News last week: “We believe in the principles of the unified space and there is lots of demand for these offers.

“Acquisition may be an option, but it’s not a specific agenda. We don’t ‘need’ to make an acquisition. If you look at the deal we recently signed with DHL, it spans 28 markets, and Telefonica has a direct network in only five of those markets.

“That’s proof we can do a great job delivering a converged solution without having a direct presence.”

One delegate at the Prague conference said: “The UK is clearly a long way behind some other countries regarding convergence of fixed line and mobile.

“We haven’t been given details of what the UK proposition will look like, but O2 spoke a lot about what is happening in the Czech Republic, which speaks for itself.”