Sky signs up with O2 to sell mobile deals and become a ‘quad player’

Sky has announced it is entering the mobile market for the first time in a partnership with O2, allowing it to become a so-called ‘quad player’.

The wholesale deal, which will not affect O2’s existing customers, means Sky can offer mobile services to Sky customers on Sky bills from 2016.

The main players in the industry are vying to become “quad play” providers, meaning they bundle home phone, mobile, TV and broadband services together in a single package for customers.

Sky’s agreement comes as its rival BT looks to spend £12.5bn to buy current mobile market leader EE.

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Sky made its announcement just a week after it was revealed that Telefonica UK, which owns O2, was in exclusive talks about a sale to rival Three, potentially creating a new UK market leader.

Sky said its multi-year deal gave it wholesale access to 2G, 3G and 4G services over O2’s nationwide network.

The company said it had established itself as the UK’s most popular triple-play provider, with almost 40% of its customer base now taking all three of TV, telephony and broadband.

Its On Demand mobile TV service, Sky Go, currently has 5.7 million registered users and Sky will have seen Telefonica’s pledge of 98% 4G coverage by 2017 as attractive.

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said:

“As the UK’s leading brand for home entertainment and communications, Sky has a proven ability to launch new services, at scale.

“We know our 11.5 million customers trust Sky to offer them the best quality and choice and have an appetite to take more from us.

“Through our partnership with Telefonica UK, we can build on our expertise in content, innovation and service to launch a range of exciting new services and exploit the opportunities for growth in the fast-changing mobile sector.”

Ronan Dunne, his counterpart at Telefonica, said:

“We’re pleased to welcome Sky to our roster of innovative, successful partnerships, through which we help partners grow their offer to customers.

“Sky understands the importance of a strong network and excellent customer experience and has made us a trusted partner to help deliver brilliant services.

“This will widen consumer choice still further and demonstrates the lively competitiveness of the UK market. We’re looking forward to working with Sky.”