TalkTalk ditches Vodafone and switches MVNO to O2

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“Multi-year deal” with Telefonica UK will see O2 provide 2G, 3G and 4G services for TalkTalk customers in UK

TalkTalk has entered a new MVNO partnership with O2, bringing an end to its four year agreement with Vodafone, as it makes a play for the quad-play market.

The fixed line provider previously relied on Vodafone’s infrastructure to provide network connections to its 350,000 mobile base but TalkTalk has now signed a “multi-year” agreement with O2.

O2 will provide 2G, 3G and 4G services to TalkTalk mobile customers, which will allow TalkTalk to offer quad-play bundles that provide customers with fixed line, mobile, broadband and TV in one package.

O2 CEO Ronan Dunne said: “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.

“This recognition, as a leading source of essential connectivity, comes as a result of our continued and significant investment in our nationwide network. We welcome the start of what we hope will be a successful and prosperous relationship for both parties.”

Vodafone expressed disappointment with the decision. A spokesperson for Vodafone said: ““We are disappointed to see Talk Talk go as we have had a good relationship with them over the last four years but understand their decision.”

Shift to quad-play

The UK market has recently seen a major shift towards quad-play bundles, with EE and Vodafone both announcing new services that include fixed line and TV offerings. Virgin Media is also competing by offering mobile services through its EE MVNO, whilst BT has also announced plans to enter the mobile market.

TalkTalk recently announced a pre-tax profit for £20 million for the first half of the fiscal year, up to September 30. It said it has a customer base of four million, with mobile customers making up 9.5 per cent of its base.

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding hailed the move as a “significant development for TalkTalk”, adding: “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.”

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