The parent companies of Three and O2 in the UK are partnering to offer fixed, mobile and other digital communications services to large enterprises and multinational organisations.
CK Hutchison and Telefonica say their complementary network and sales footprints will enhance their ability to offer connectivity to more parts of the world and help drive Digital Transformation projects.
Last year, CK Hutchison created an Innovations Opportunities Development unit (CKH IOD) to identify and create digital services across the various businesses under its control. It joins ten other mobile operators in Telefonica’s Partners Program, which now covers 65 nations and 1.8 billion users.
CK Hutchison Telefonica
The first territory to be covered by the new arrangement is Italy, where CK Hutchison owns Wind Tre, with Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden set to follow.
The UK is not covered by the partnership and the two companies will continue to compete in the market. If a customer requests a solution in a market where both operators are present, then they will offer two separate proposals.
A merger between O2 and Three was blocked in 2017 amid concerns the reduction from four operators to three would distort competition and negatively impact consumers.
“This partnership with Telefonica is key to [our] growth strategy,” said Susan Buttsworth, CEO of CKH IOD. “It enhances our own capabilities across our territories, gives us access to a world-class suite of digital solutions and enables our customers to access services through Telefonica’s footprint in the rest of Europe and Latin America as well as through the other operators in the Partner Program.”
“We are very pleased with the alliance with CKH IOD, its amazing track record and the synergies that will create,” added Jacobo García-Palencia, global director of Strategic Alliances at Telefónica.
“It will reinforce our Partners Program as a way to jointly capture the opportunities that digital transformation offers our customers. We are confident that this agreement will bring important benefits to both our Groups and continue to enhance our strong network of telco partners across the world”.
- Here are the best O2 mobile phone deals for 2019
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.