Sky Mobile secures rights to use O2’s 5G network early

Sky Mobile has extended is MVNO agreement with Telefonica to ensure it has access to O2's 5G network when it’s ready to go live.

The mobile subsidiary of Sky’s business launched in 2016 and has seen explosive growth since in part due to its bundles with other services. Few companies are in a position to offer attractive quad-play bundles of broadband, landline, TV, and mobile services.

While research shows the consumer appetite for quad-play bundles, the lure of 5G services may tempt customers away. To prevent this, Sky is making early moves to ensure its customers have access to 5G as soon as O2 is ready.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky CEO for UK and Ireland, said:

“This long-term deal furthers our strategic partnership with Telefónica UK, accelerates the growth of Sky Mobile and ensures our customers continue to enjoy great service including 5G connectivity.”

The rollout of O2’s 5G network is likely some time away yet, but the company has already launched several testbeds including at the iconic O2 Arena.

Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Officer, said:

“O2’s decision to bring 5G technology to one of the world’s most iconic entertainment venues reinforces London’s status as a global leader in digital innovation and investment.

I want London to be the world’s leading smart city and these 5G trials at The O2 will give visitors an early opportunity to experience the enhanced services that can be supported by 5G digital connectivity.”

Yesterday, O2 began offering a 5G testbed opportunity to any FTSE 100 company in ‘a pioneering move to improve national output and boost the economy’.

The company says the 5G testbeds will help FTSE 100 businesses to understand the processes and use cases that would benefit from 5G.

Speaking of the 5G opportunity, O2 CEO Mark Evans said:

“Mobile, and specifically 5G, is one of the UK’s most powerful opportunities to strengthen our economy, enrich our society, and outperform on the global stage.

Our national Testbed commitment is a testament to this belief and we are excited by the value it could create for UK Plc.”

Sky Mobile is clearly happy with its O2 relationship. Despite the company building out many core systems itself, the company is extending its agreement with O2 to ensure its customers have access to 5G as soon as possible.

Full year financial results for Sky shows a revenue growth of five percent to £14 billion. The results are likely the last as a listed company amid bids from 20th Century Fox and Comcast.

What are your thoughts on Sky Mobile’s 5G deal with O2? Let us know in the comments.

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