Communications giant Vodafone has revealed early talks with Liberty Global for an “exchange of selected assets,” most likely involving the purchase of Virgin Media.
Vodafone might be making the move to control the “quad-play” market emerging from the acquisition of EE by BT and O2’s deal with Sky. Even though in the two previous deals, it was the broadband company making a deal with the mobile carrier, Vodafone is the larger of the two in this deal.
Specifics of the deal are still undisclosed. It is not clear what assets Vodafone are planning to swap, meaning a cash deal is more than likely.
Virgin Media is the second largest Internet service provider in the UK and has the fastest Internet speeds, with the launch of 150Mbps for fiber optic customers and 300Mbps tests in parts of London.
Acquiring Virgin Media would give Vodafone a strong hold of the UK broadband market, more than enough to compete with BT and EE. That said, EE is definitely the better of the two mobile providers when it comes to customers, considering EE has the most subscribers and the most 4G subscribers in the UK.
Vodafone is playing catch up in the 4G market, after spending a few years building a fast and consistent 3G network for its subscribers. This 3G network has been regarded as the best amongst compare and review sites, but that might not mean much as more UK customers move over to 4G contracts.