Virgin Media O2 begins with ambition to upgrade UK fixed, mobile | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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It took a long time to happen, but the merger of the Liberty Global UK cable business and Telefónica UK mobile and comms network is now a reality and the new Virgin Media O2 has begun operation with a promise to power the UK’s recovery and create “unbeatable” choice for UK consumers.
VirginMediaO2 2June2021
The new company is described by its founders as representing the biggest UK merger in a decade and the largest UK telecoms deal ever, opening at a time when connectivity has never been more critical and as the UK recovers and rebuilds from the global pandemic. And as it comes to life, the new company has set out a vision to ‘upgrade the UK’ principally through investment in fibre and 5G infrastructure.

The new business is a nationwide integrated communications provider with more than 47 million video, broadband and mobile subscribers and an estimated £11bn of revenue. It would comprise O2’s core network of mobile users - as well as those from mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) Giffgaff, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile and Lycamobile - along with the Virgin cable network, which is rapidly being upgraded for gigabit broadband. Crucially, it will add to Virgin’s fixed network O2’s expanding 5G infrastructure.

The new firm has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years in the UK and will also aim to provide stiffer competition than has been the case to BT/EE in the UK. Virgin Media O2 claims that it is now the nation’s largest gigabit broadband operator and will deliver these speeds across its entire network by the end of the year, building on its existing fibre network expansion activity by deploying fibre to millions of additional homes across the country. A variety of options, including potential partnerships, are currently being worked on to achieve this. The company has also committed to cement its leadership status in reliability and quality mobile coverage by utilising its increased spectrum holding and bringing 5G services to new areas across the nation – including around 200 towns and cities by the end of June.

“With the fastest broadband and most reliable mobile network in the UK today, Virgin Media O2 is the complete package,” said Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schüler speaking at the launch of the new company.

“We are ready to shake up the market and be the competitor the country needs at a time when choice has never been more important. Through investment and innovation in cutting-edge infrastructure and future technology, we will connect more people to the things they love, support communities across the country, help businesses to grow, and power the UK economy. With no limit to our ambition, we’re here to upgrade the UK – and our mission starts today.”