Satellite TV broadcaster Sky has struck a multi-year deal in the UK to gain wholesale access to 2G, 3G and 4G services over Telefonica O2’s network. It plans to launch its first mobile service in 2016.

The deal, which has been mooted in recent days, follows BT’s dramatic bid to re-enter the mobile market by buying EE.

Sky says it will offer a range of mobile voice and data services.

The broadcaster is thought to have been mulling a mobile move for some time, although BT’s bid is likely to have pushed the issue up its agenda.

Seven years ago, Sky expanded from its stronghold in pay-TV into fixed broadband where it is now a major force, claiming to be the second largest player in the UK with more than five million subscribers.

It also claims to be the country’s most popular triple play provider with almost 40 per cent of its base taking all three of TV, fixed voice and broadband services from the provider.

Sky already has a foothold in the mobile market with the popular Sky Go, its mobile TV service.