Broadband flogger TalkTalk is to launch its own mobile phone network this autumn, after doing a deal with Vodafone.
Despite Ofcom finding that TalkTalk, formerly part of Carphone Warehouse, had the slowest Internet speeds of any major British ISP, it's still the second biggest provider in the UK. Now it wants to offer a mobile service to its 4 million landline and broadband customers, launching both contract and pre-pay tariffs.
After breaking into the broadband market in 2006, having already had great success with the landline call packages that offer free calls between their own customers, TalkTalk began athat bundled landline calls, line rental and Internet. TalkTalk underestimated the effect the word 'free' would have and struggled to cope with the intense demands made of its new-born service, but gained loyal customers once the teething problems were sorted.
The deal means TalkTalk will pay Vodafone to piggyback on its network. Agreements such as this are known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Vodafone already has similar MVNO details with BT and Asda Mobile, which allows them to use the expensive infrastructure of their gracious host but maintain their own brands.
MVNOs have been launched by established companies (in particular supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco), so is TalkTalk late to an already crowded party? Considering it was a latecomer to both landline phone and broadband markets, soaring to be one of the biggest competitors in that field, will TalkTalk pull off the hat-trick? Let us know what you think in the comments below.