Consumers could have access to more bundled phone, broadband and TV deals from next year after Sky confirmed today that it will launch its own mobile phone network next year.
The move will transform the satellite TV giant into what's known as a 'quad-play' provider, meaning it will be able to offer mobile services as well as broadband, TV and home phone from 2016 (see our Cheap Mobiles guide to get the best deal).
Sky will use existing mobile provider O2's network to provide 2G, 3G and 4G phone and data services, allowing it to rival existing quad-play providers BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk.
There are very few details available today about how the service will work, as Sky and O2 are keeping the information under wraps for now.
A spokesperson for O2 confirmed that the deal would not affect existing O2 customers.
O2 already provides network services for other providers, including Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff, and the Sky deal will work in the same way.
Last week it was announced that Hutchison Whampoa – owner of rival mobile phone network Three – had entered into negotiations to buy O2's parent company Telefónica.
Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive at Sky, says: "As the UK's leading brand for home entertainment and communications, Sky has a proven ability to launch new services, at scale. We know our 11.5 million customers trust Sky to offer them the best quality and choice and have an appetite to take more from us.
"Through our partnership with Telefónica UK, we can build on our expertise in content, innovation and service to launch a range of exciting new services and exploit the opportunities for growth in the fast-changing mobile sector."