O2 cuts airtime agreement with A1 Comms

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Operator pulls business from all A1 brands, becoming the second firm it has ceased trading with in recent weeks

O2 has terminated its direct airtime agreements with B2B dealer A1 Comms.

The news was confirmed by O2 UK chief executive Ronan Dunne, who told Mobile News the operator was “optimising” its direct channel.

All O2 airtime connections placed through A1 Comms and Go Mobile’s 80 retailer stores, as well as through its online brands including buymobiles.net, will be processed via an airtime distributor. A1 Comms declined to comment.

Lack of business
Go Mobile, which was acquired from Shebang Technologies Group in July 2012, is the second retailer in the past three months to be axed by O2, after terminating its deal with Phones 4u in January due to lack of business (eight per cent of contracts in 2013).

O2 UK chief executive Ronan Dunne (pictured) said: “We have also exited A1 Comms. We’re going through a process of optimising our own direct channels, making sure we are delivering a differentiated offering in that space.

“Direct is our prime channel, and then placing the balance of the business that we have in other channels, there just wasn’t enough to go around.”

O2-store-Northampton-web

O2 expects the rollout of an additional 82 franchise-run retail stores to be completed during Q2, with numbers already reaching 70.

Once complete,  O2 franchise numbers will top around 209 in almost half the 466 total of O2’s retail estate.

Dunne previously suggested a further 12 – in addition to the 82 – could be rolled out over the coming months.

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