TalkTalk, the highly regarded internet service provider and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), is planning to remove itself from the mobile market as part of a strategy to focus on broadband internet in order to make it even better.
That's according to a report in today's Financial Times, which claims that TalkTalk is looking for ways to exit its mobile business, which it only launched in late 2010 and which currently piggybacks on O2's network following a 2014 shift from Vodafone.
The company, according to the FT, is looking to sell-on the contracts and effectively to act as a middleman, selling the mobile contracts of its new partner. Such an arrangement would cut TalkTalk's costs and overheads and guarantee it a cut of the contract between its customer and the mobile operator, reducing its business risks.
TalkTalk is in talks with a number of network operators, including O2, it admitted.
"We are in advanced discussions with a number of potential partners, including O2, to agree a low touch, retail arrangement that will enable us to continue to offer a compelling mobile service to all our broadband customers," a spokesperson told the FT.
TalkTalk had expanded into mobile in 2010 in order to offer customers a so-called ‘quad play' of broadband, mobile, television and fixed-line telecoms - mimicking Sky. Customers, however, have generally refused to be tied-in to one provider, even one with TalkTalk's excellent reputation for reliability, security and customer service.
Surprisingly, perhaps, TalkTalk claims some 913,000 mobile customers, some of whom will also be ‘quad players'.
However, the company's bargain-basement broadband and mobile pricing generally attracts price-conscious customers willing to shop around for the best deal, rather than subscribers willing to pay a premium for the convenience of contracting with one company for a range of services.
The strategic shift will come just months after its accident-prone, yet mysteriously highly remunerated CEO Dido Harding stood down to "focus more on my activities in public service".
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