Billionaire mogul wants piece of EE’s action
Richard Branson’s Virgin Media is in secret negotiations with EE to become Britain’s second mobile operator to offer 4G mobile internet, it’s claimed.
The company already runs a “virtual” mobile network using EE infrastructure and is now said to be in discussion to offer its own 4G services, giving it a jump start over rivals.
Ofcom’s decision to allow EE to redeploy old spectrum for super-fast 4G connectivity has already infuriated rivals such as Vodafone, O2 and Three UK who continue to threaten legal action to block EE’s roll-out.
If Virgin does manage to clinch a deal it could prove pivotal in getting more customers to sign up to its “quad-play” services offering TV, broadband, landline and mobile in a single package. Around 15 per cent of Virgin Media users currently take all four services, but its mobile revenues have flatlined of late.
EE is on track to launch its new 4G service before Christmas while O2, Vodafone and Three will have to bid for a spectrum auction at the end of the year before they can roll-out 4G services, due in the second half of 2013.