Further UK telecoms consolidation?
It’s all over the tech/comms news that the Big Red is looking at the possibility of buying Virgin Media’s parent company. Google it. There is a fit because both companies have bright red branding so they wouldn’t have to change much.
It was only recently we discussed the fact that Voda was looking into buying TalkTalk.
What’s more other recent rumours have suggested that BT are looking at buying either O2 or EE. BT of course sold off O2 all those years ago – what hindsight can tell you eh?
I think it is inevitable that there will be more consolidation in the UK telecoms landscape. We only have to look at the ISPs we follow in trefor.net brand BROADBANDRating. Of the six we look at, BT, Virgin, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Sky and EE EE has by far the fewer subscribers and this would appear to be reflected in their social media engagement.
If you look at EE’s twitter stream it is very busy. However it is mostly people complaining about/discussing their EE mobile service rather than broadband. So if we thought that the future world was going to revolve around broadband then you wouldn’t bet on EE being one of the winners, even though they are trying to change this with the intro of EE TV (etc).
O2 already gave up on their broadband project. One wonders at which point EE would do the same although you would then think that this would write them off as a long term player.
It feels as there is going to be further consolidation in the UK telecoms market and we are going to end up with just 4 players in the UK, remembering that Plusnet is owned by BT.
BT + O2 (or EE?)
Voda + Virgin
TalkTalk (+EE or O2?)
Sky (Sky could buy 3 for good measure)
This could all be a load of rubbish but there’s no harm in speculating. If I’m right it will make me look good. If I’m wrong I could just delete the post… 🙂
There is an argument that says that even 4 players is too many but I can’t imagine many people would want there to be fewer – the competition has been great for prices and product development in the UK.