Virgin Media O2 confirmed discussions with third parties about a potential joint venture that will build a complete fiber-optic network serving seven million additional homes and businesses by 2027.
The company’s modernization program means that each of the 15.5 million homes and businesses serviced on its cable network can now access 1 Gbps broadband, while another 20,000 are planned to be connected in 2022.
By 2028, the entire network will be upgraded to fiber-to-wire (FTTP) technology as Virgin Media O2 seeks to maintain its technology leadership and develop true converged products that can compete with BT.
But now I want to go even further. Announcing the results for the full year, Virgin Media O2 said its parent companies Telefonica and Liberty Global have begun talks with outside investors to create a network open to all communications providers that competes with Openreach in some areas. However, Virgin Media O2’s core cable network will not be available to wholesale customers.
Last year, the combined company added 177,000 new broadband users as well as 2.7 million mobile connections – a figure that also includes wholesale customers and IoT customers. It now has 5.8 million fixed-line subscribers and 32 million retail mobile connections, the latter of which grew by 344,000 last year.
Revenues fell 1.2% to £ 10.4 billion year-on-year as fixed consumer incomes were offset by declining mobile and B2B revenues and profits doubled to £ 18.3 million. The company added that it has invested £ 2 billion in its network and customer service work over 2021, improving fixed-line infrastructure and 5G while limiting outflows and increasing satisfaction.
“In the historic year for our business, which marked the end of the UK’s largest telecommunications merger, we focused our attention and ended 2021 at its peak,” said Lutz Schuler, CEO of Virgin Media O2.
“We have seen steady growth in fixed and mobile subscribers as the demand for fast and reliable connectivity remains, and have achieved increased profitability by investing more than £ 2 billion in our network, services and future drivers of growth.
“As part of our mission to modernize the UK, we have expanded 5G coverage, completed the deployment of gigabits as promised, and now we plan to expand our area to ~ 23 million premises through a new fiber-optic company set up by our shareholders.
“We started this year by being the only big four mobile network that does not impose roaming tariffs in the EU. This spirit of the challenger penetrates deeply throughout the organization, and we intend to rely on this energy and maintain the accumulated momentum.
Through Sky News