Pay TV provider Sky is reportedly in talks with Telefonica to buy access to its O2 mobile network in the UK.
Sources told Bloomberg that the broadcaster has also discussed a similar deal with Vodafone as it looks to position itself in the quadplay market in which companies offer fixed and mobile voice services, broadband and pay TV.
A wholesale deal would allow it to pay to use an existing network to provide mobile services under its own brand.
Sky acquired O2’s fixed line and broadband business, along with 500,000 customers, in March last year. A source said it was unlikely that Sky would attempt to buy O2.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s CEO, said in October that the company could potentially offer a mobile service, if it was to launch a “converged product”.
If BT’s negotiations to acquire the UK’s largest operator, EE, come to fruition, it will become the quadplay market leader. It would also make Sky the only broadband player not to have a mobile offering.
The news comes after reports that O2 is in talks with Hutchison Whampoa (the owner of 3 UK) about a potential acquisition. The Hong Kong-based company is believed to be mulling a £9 billion offer.
Spain’s El Economista has now claimed that Telefonica has also held non-binding talks with cable company Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media in the UK, and Talk Talk, which provides fixed voice, broadband and pay TV services.
Vodafone has previously been linked to Liberty Global, with Virgin Media offering fixed voice, consumer broadband and a pay TV service. Vodafone has played the rumours down, however.