TalkTalk not buying Tesco Mobile

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding tells the BBC she is not going to acquire mobile virtual network operator Tesco Mobile

TalkTalk has ruled itself out of the running to acquire mobile virtual network operator Tesco Mobile, after reports linked the two.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today Programme on 14 May, CEO Dido Harding said she was focused on the integration of TV and video-on-demand service BlinkBox, which Tesco sold to TalkTalk at the start of 2015, and would not be acquiring its mobile business as well.

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis is thought to be keen to sell off non-core units as he struggles to clear debts of £22bn. Tesco’s cut-price mobile phone service, which runs over the O2 network, is a prime contender for being sold.

It has also recently sold off a music streaming service and is touting its big data analytics unit, Dunhumby, as well.

Strong results

TalkTalk unveiled strong full-year results, with revenues up by 4.1% to £1.8bn across the whole year and 6% in the final quarter. Full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose by 15% to £245m.

The firm saw strong growth in data revenues, which helped drive growth at TalkTalk Business. On the consumer side, more customers committed to quad-play bundled packages of landline, broadband, TV and mobile.

TalkTalk said it had gained more than a million new broadband, fibre and mobile customers in the past 12 months, and claimed that its TalkTalk TV platform was now the third largest pay-TV service in the UK with 1.4 million customers. It also announced that it would be adding Game of Thrones to the service in June.

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At TalkTalk Business, a number of new contracts to supply Ethernet and Ethernet First Mile connections added more than 9,000 new lines and took its total base to 26,000, up by over 50% on the previous year.

A new bargain bucket business broadband service for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small office/home office customers, priced at £4 a month and representing a £535 saving on the equivalent BT service, also began to draw in more customers.

TalkTalk Business managing director Charles Bligh said he remained committed to providing customers with innovative and value-for-money products.

“Companies need scalability and speed to deliver on new ways of working and make the most of the opportunities available. With the demand for data increasing every month, from the largest corporate to the newest sole operator, we are well-placed to build on this year’s growth,” said Bligh.

Separately, TalkTalk announced the acquisition of tIPcall, a next-generation session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking service, to build out its wholesale SIP trunking portfolio and offer converged voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services to more customers.

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