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Sky Broadband Asks 200,000 UK Customers – Want a Mobile Tariff

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 (2:13 pm) - Score 976

One of the UK telecoms markets worst kept secrets is that BSkyB (Sky Broadband) has an ambition to launch their own mobile phone service and indeed various discussions with major Mobile Networks Operators (MNO) have been taking place throughout the year (here and here). As a result the news that Sky are about to conduct a mobile service “trial” with Vodafone is no surprise, but it is big news.

Sky needs a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) partnership to call its own because all of their primary rivals, such as Virgin Media and TalkTalk, have already teamed up with various mobile operators. Meanwhile next year will see BT re-enter the mobile market through their new deal with EE and the Post Office are doing the same (here). Quite simply, Sky can’t afford to be left out as that might put pressure on their churn rate (customer bleed).

Analysts have long speculated that Vodafone would be a logical partner for Sky given their existing TV content and management relationships, not to mention Vodafone’s own desire to counter BT’s move into the mobile sector. Vodafone might also feel a little sore after BT dumped them for EE and you know what they say, revenge is a dish best served.. by teaming up with somebody else in order to punch BT’s lights out (well it’s probably something like that).

Never the less Sky has spent most of the year dodging such speculation and refusing to commit to a particular course, yet all that might finally be coming to an end. The Register notes that Sky has contacted 200,000 customers to ask if they would like to take part in a mobile trial via Vodafone’s network, which is rather a lot of people to ask, unless it’s more than just a trial.

A Spokesperson for BSkyB said:

We’ve teamed up with Vodafone to launch some tactical promotional offers to our customer bases to encourage sampling of our respective products and services.”

At this point it’s surprising to see Sky continuing to play the coy press agent card, surely the cat is now well and truly out of the bag (all 200,000 of them)? Might as well let those cats run free and be open about it.

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