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In a bold move to reshape the UK’s broadband landscape, VMO2, backed by shareholders Liberty Global and Telefónica, has announced the launch of a new fixed network company, ambitiously positioned as a direct competitor to BT’s Openreach. Dubbed NetCo for now, this venture aims to accelerate the adoption of full fibre broadband, offering a fresh financing framework and a potential platform for the consolidation of alternative network providers (altnets).

VMO2 faced a substantial loss of £3.3 billion in 2023, worsened by a £3.1 billion goodwill impairment rooted in increased capital costs. While their debt soured under challenging economic conditions, they still managed to attract 64,000 new broadband and 47,000 mobile customers. Nevertheless, revenues witnessed a slight tumble as consumer fixed income dipped and the B2B sector lagged.

In a significant boost to rural connectivity, Virgin Media O2 has recently achieved a landmark in the Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative by completing upgrades or constructing 100 sites under its management. This development is set to offer unprecedented mobile coverage quality to rural communities, benefiting not just its own customers but also those of Three and Vodafone, thanks to a collaborative effort to enhance infrastructure.

Forging a powerful alliance, Virgin Media O2 and Tesco affirm a ten-year extension of their two decade-long partnership, potentially marking a new era for Tesco Mobile, UK’s leading mobile virtual network operator. With over 5.5 million customers, and a recent 9.4% increase in sales generating £970 million in revenues, this joint venture shows no signs of slowing down.

VMO2 is set to bolster its workforce with 200 new roles, an exciting prospect for those seeking to embark on careers in the dynamic telecommunications industry. While this initiative presents a pathway to cultivating vital skills and qualifications, the telecom giant’s stride in employment growth seems to have slowed following last year’s ambitious pledge.

In a bid to promote digital inclusion and ease the financial burden on its customers, Virgin Media O2, the UK’s second-largest telecoms operator, has taken significant steps to raise awareness of social tariffs. The company, with a customer base of 5 million broadband and TV users, is now including information on its Essential Broadband and Essential Broadband Plus tariffs in the monthly bills of all its customers.

Virgin Media O2’s decision to offload part of its Corneridge UK towers business to GLIL Infrastructure for £360 million marks a key shift in telecom infrastructure ownership. However, this move falls short of industry valuations, indicating price reductions in the investment market. Despite this, VMO2 retains operational and strategic control in this critical asset, striving to enhance 4G connectivity and intensify 5G rollout. This move aligns with the firm’s wider strategy, marking the start of a potentially transformative series of ambitious deals, lightening its footprint while driving growth.

UK operator VMO2’s recent innovation eliminates network dead zones across a 126-acre farm, combining telecom and agriculture to test the impact of digital technology on rural farming. This collaboration enables real-time tracking of high-value items, prompt alerts on farm security breaches, and efficient crop health monitoring, thereby potentially boosting farm productivity and significantly reducing losses.