Sky’s announcement that it’s planning on launching its own mobile network didn’t come as a huge surprise.
The past three months has seen the telecoms industry in the UK begin the process of a huge shakeup, with BT buying EE and Three owner Hutchison Whampoa making a move for O2.
So, what will Sky’s network entail? And what does it mean for you, the consumer?
Read on we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Sky mobile network.
1 It’s launching next year
Sky says that its network will launch in 2016, after it struck a deal with current O2 owner Telefonica to piggyback off of its network.
That means that Sky won’t have its own network per se, rather that it’ll use O2’s masts as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
This is an arrangement already used by Tesco, which has a deal with O2. TalkTalk also uses O2’s network.
2 It won’t affect Three’s merger with O2
Three's owner Hutchison Whampoa is in talks with Telefonica to buy O2 for £10 billion.
The deal with Sky is unlikely to affect this tie up, as Sky’s network will be using the same infrastructure come what may.
In fact, it could be looked on favourably by EU regulators who will scrutinise the Three/O2 merger.
A Sky network means increased competition and potentially better deals for consumers.
3 It’ll make quad–play much more appealing
Quad–play, offering TV, landline, broadband and mobile as an all–in–one deal, is already taking off, with TalkTalk and Virgin offering consumers bundled packages.
However, Sky’s arrival in the market could really shake things up.
40% of Sky’s 11.5 million users already pay for TV, internet access and phone line in one go, more than its competitors.
Chucking mobile into the mix could be very alluring to those looking to simplify their bills.
4 Prices should come down
Worries about there only being three networks in the UK after the Three/O2 merger have been allayed somewhat by Sky’s plans.
Quad–play should in theory mean lower overall prices, with another player offering consumers greater choice.
With Dixons announcing its own MVNO network this week, those after a bargain are arguably in a better position than they were at the start of the year.
5 It leaves Vodafone in a precarious position
Sky’s decision to hook up with O2 has left Vodafone in an even more precarious position than before.
Sky and Vodafone did have a mobile tie up, albeit a trial for select users, but with EE and BT merging and Three and O2 coming together, this is another blow to the one time market leader.
Could it make a move to buy TalkTalk? Rumours suggest so.
Either way, it faces a battle as more and more tech brands look to launch their own mobile networks.