Sky has announced plans to move into mobile phones – having secured access to create a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), piggybacking on the O2 network.
As an MVNO, Sky won’t be building its own phone masts or anything like that – but it is leasing space from Telefonica, which owns O2 – similar to how Tesco Mobile also uses the O2 network as its backbone.
The move is no-doubt motivated by continued consolidation in telecoms, in which all of the major players want to operate TV, home broadband, mobile and landline services. In recent weeks we’ve seen BT (which does broadband and TV, in addition to landlines) start to gobble up EE and Vodafone announce plans to start its own TV service. Presumably this is Sky fighting back.
The first mobile services should be launching from Sky in 2016, so a while to wait yet.