TalkTalk has announced that it is dropping its partnership with Vodafone in favour of a similar deal with O2’s parent company Telefonica. In an announcement, TalkTalk said that the deal will allow it to access O2’s 2G, 3G and 4G network and the change represents a blow for Vodafone as the telecoms operator war rises another few degrees.
In its statement, TalkTalk said:
We are pleased to announce that we have entered into a new multi-year commercial MVNO agreement with Telefonica UK Limited under which Telefonica UK will provide TalkTalk with access to its 2G, 3G and 4G services in the UK,” said TalkTalk in its announcement. “This is a significant commercial relationship for us as we build upon our success to date in mobile. Our mobile base has grown strongly in the last two years, with 350,000 customers or 9.5% of our total base, taking mobile from us as of 30th September.
TalkTalk CEO, Dido Harding, said:
This is a significant development for TalkTalk, building on our success in mobile to date. 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,” said TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding. “We see real opportunities in both the near term and further out, to work with Telefonica UK to further accelerate our quad-play growth.
Ronan Dunne, CEO for Telefonica UK added:
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 organizations 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.
The move will mean that TalkTalk joins GiffGaff as the MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) offering 4G services backed by O2’s network. As part of the 4G spectrum auction, O2 received the largest share of 800MHz spectrum which came with the provision that the network would provide indoor coverage for 98% of the UK population by the end of 2016.
Now it just remains to be seen whether TalkTalk will follow GiffGaff and offer cheap 4G contracts.