- 50-50 joint venture brings together Virgin Media, the UK’s fastest broadband network, and O2, the country’s largest mobile platform
- Combination creates a stronger fixed and mobile competitor in the UK market, supporting the expansion of Virgin Media’s giga-ready network and O2’s 5G mobile deployment for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the public sector
- Fully converged platform will put customers first and have the scale to innovate in the changing digital landscape, investing £10 billion in the UK over the next five years
Liberty Global plc and Telefonica SA today announced an agreement to merge their operating businesses in the UK to form a 50:50 joint venture (JV). The combination of Virgin Media and O2 will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with over 46 million video, broadband and mobile subscribers and £11 billion of revenue.
By combining Virgin Media’s market-leading v6 video service and giga-ready broadband network, together with O2’s best-in-class, 5G ready mobile propositions, UK consumers will enjoy the highest-quality customer experience possible, with superior connectivity and entertainment both inside and outside the home. As a fully converged provider, the JV will provide more competition in the marketplace and choice for consumers.
In addition, the JV will become a leading challenger in the B2B space as the combination will accelerate the adoption of converged fixed-mobile services to Virgin Media’s and O2’s existing business customers and offer new services using both companies’ digital skills, networks and product portfolios, such as cloud, big data, Internet of Things and cyber security services. This will ensure sustainable competition in the small, medium and large business segments across the UK, which will benefit the overall British economy.
Telefonica Chief Executive Officer, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, said: “Combining O2’s number one mobile business with Virgin Media’s superfast broadband network and entertainment services will be a game-changer in the UK, at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater or more critical. We are creating a strong competitor with significant scale and financial strength to invest in UK digital infrastructure and give millions of consumer, business and public sector customers more choice and value. This is a proud and exciting moment for our organisations, as we create a leading integrated communications provider in the UK.”
Mike Fries, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about this combination. Virgin Media has redefined broadband and entertainment in the U.K. with lightning fast speeds and the most innovative video platform. And O2 is widely recognized as the most reliable and admired mobile operator in the UK, always putting the customer first. With Virgin Media and O2 together, the future of convergence is here today. We’ve seen the benefit of FMC (fixed-mobile convergence) first-hand in Belgium and the Netherlands. When the power of 5G meets 1 gig broadband, UK consumers and businesses will never look back. We’re committed to this market and are right behind the Government’s digital and connectivity goals.”
To find out more, visit nationalconnectivitychampion.co.uk