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Sky moves into mobile with Telefonica deal

Sky logoSky is set to offer mobile voice and data services for the first time from next year, after signing an agreement with Telefonica UK. 

The multi-year deal will see Telefonica, which owns the O2 network in the UK, give Sky wholesale access to 2G, 3G and 4G services.

Sky said it plans to launch its first mobile telephony services to customers in 2016 and that its move into this space will help to grow its home communications business.

“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 Telefónica 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,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch.

Telefonica CEO Ronan Dunne added: “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.”

Sky now claims to be the number two home broadband provider in the UK with more than 5 million customers, and the UK’s most popular triple-play provider with almost 40% of its customer base now taking all three of TV, telephony and broadband. Sky also has 5.7 million registered users for its Sky Go mobile TV service.

According to reports earlier this month, Sky and Telefonica had been in talks since late 2014 over the partnership. The deal comes after BT last month announced it is in exclusive talks to acquire the UK’s leading mobile operator EE for £12.5 billion (€15.8 billion), as competition heats up in the quad-play space.