Virgin Media and 3 to partner up?

Darren Allan

December 1, 2010

There have already been rumours whizzing around about Virgin Media’s wi-fi plans, as we reported the week before last.

Apparently Virgin wants to create a nationwide wi-fi network to rival BT – albeit concentrating in the main on the most profitable dense population centres. And it seems that teaming up with network operator 3 might be one route the company could take towards expanding its mobile coverage.

According to a report on V3.co.uk, analyst firm Ovum has got a whiff that Virgin could potentially try and partner with, or even acquire 3 (though that may be a stretch given Virgin’s not overly healthy balance sheet).

Such a joint venture would give Virgin access to a data-centric network, and would also give 3 greater scale, Ovum stated.

Steven Hartley, a Principal Analyst at Ovum, told V3.co.uk: “BT uses infrastructure already in place to provide wi-fi services, but its offering doesn’t generate much revenue. Virgin, meanwhile, will have to create a [wireless] infrastructure and then try to differentiate itself.”

“By partnering with 3, the opportunity to cross sell is present as Virgin has a reputation as a content provider and a lot of multimedia that it wants to push out.”






 

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