Cable Technology Feature Article
Virgin Media Adds Mobile to Telecommunications Offerings, Creating a 'Quad-Play' Package
By Michelle Nicolson, TMCnet Contributing Writer
In a move that is sure to be replicated elsewhere in the telecommunications industry, U.K.’s Virgin Media (News - Alert) announced the company will offer new services that bundle TV, broadband, landline phone and mobile services in one package.
The company calls these new bundled services “quad-play,” an obvious play on its own (and its competitors’) “triple-play” services. While Virgin Media has long offered mobile services, these new packages mark the first time the company has bundled mobile with its other services.
"Quad-play bundles are already popular on mainland Europe — in Spain one in seven people take mobile as part of a bundle — so it was long overdue for U.K. providers to expand into this area," says Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk, in an interview with CNET.
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Mobile is, of course, a hot commodity in the telecommunications industry. Growth in smartphone sales are expected to be 1.2 billion in 2014, up from one billion in 2013, representing 19.3 percent year-over-year growth, according to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)).
Virgin Media is in a good position to implement the new quad-play strategy, with 66 percent of its customer base already subscribing to the company’s bundled TV, broadband and landline phone services. Adding mobile makes sense and has the potential to offer Virgin Media an advantage in the competitive telecommunications market.
"For the first time, households will be able to get the best broadband together with the U.K.'s best value mobile," said Dana Strong, chief operating officer at Virgin Media.
The question remains: how long before the competition follows Virgin Media’s strategy? Industry insiders are betting changes are already in the works. According to The Guardian, BT (News - Alert) made a deal with EE – which operates the Orange and T-Mobile brands – back in October 2013.
Virgin Media reports the new quad-play deals will be available to existing customers in the next few weeks. New customers will be able to sign up around the end of May. The company has 3.7 million TV customers, 4.4 million broadband customers, 4.1 million landline users and three million on mobile contracts.
Edited by Alisen Downey