Sky is to join the ranks of UK mobile providers by virtue of a partnership deal with Telefónica UK (O2).
"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."Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of Telefónica UK
This deal means that Sky will join EE, TalkTalk and Virgin Media who are all quad play now and if the BT and EE deal goes well then BT will be too. This deal follows hot on the heels of Three moving to pay £10 billion to buy O2 UK.
No news on specific products, those will come in good time, but given the aggressive free SIM and half price deals that TalkTalk customers enjoy we would expect a lot of competition. There has been worries that the mergers and buy-outs in the mobile market might lead to price rises, but it is possible that the retail level competition and bundling may drive prices down, though this might be at the expense of those who take services from a mixture of providers. In short, bundling of data, video and voice services is here to stay.