LONDON: Combining O2, the UK’s largest mobile phone operator, with Virgin Media, the nation’s second-largest broadband provider, could reshape the market for consumers as much as the telecommunications industry.
A tie-up between the UK broadband and mobile units of Liberty Global Plc and Telefonica SA, could be announced as soon as this week, and both companies offer a roster of perks and offers to tempt customers, many of which they’re uniquely positioned to offer -- and with minimal existing crossover.
O2 is a pure-play wireless carrier with no TV product of its own, so it bundles services like Amazon Prime Video into new contracts.
Conversely, Virgin Media gives its TV subscribers free mobile apps that let them stream live and on-demand channels, but incentives to use them on a Virgin Mobile service – such as having their data usage being excluded from a customer’s monthly allowance – don’t exist.
There would be ample opportunity for Virgin to offer an on-demand TV streaming mobile product that, if used on an O2 phone, didn’t eat into a customer’s data allowance.
It’s a strategy already used by rival EE – customers of that carrier can choose a service plan that excludes TV services from using up bundled data allowances. — Bloomberg
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