Commenting on the O2 and Virgin Media merger, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “This merger between the UK’s biggest mobile company and a prevailing broadband giant will create a titan of the telecoms industry that will almost certainly throw down a challenge to the most dominant player, BT.
“It’s a natural and complementary fit, with O2 returning to fixed-line broadband and Virgin Media bolstering its mobile proposition.
“Depending on the regulatory merger process, the deal could be completed as early as Summer 2021.
“With Vodafone having courted a tie up with Virgin Media in the past and Three being blocked from acquiring O2 in 2016, it will be interesting to see if today’s news sparks an arms race in the rest of the industry.
“This joining of forces is undoubtedly big news – but the most important thing is that customers will benefit rather than lose out. It’s vital that the combined brands maintain the high standards of customer care and service that people have come to expect.
“Both the O2 and Virgin Media brands are expected to remain in the short-term, but it will be interesting to see what this means for existing customers in terms of products and access to extra services, such as O2 Priorities.
“Immediate steps like Telefonica powering Virgin’s virtual mobile network will eventually generate £110 million of annual savings, but duplication means there is the potential for jobs to be cut.
“Nevertheless, for all customers there is the exciting prospect of greater breadth of entertainment and faster speeds to look forward to.”