UK: Vodafone and Three announce intention to merge, creating the biggest operator

Vlad, 14 June 2023

The UK's third and fourth operators by market share have today announced their intention to merge. We're talking about Vodafone and Three. The combined company would leapfrog past both EE (the current No.1) and O2 (the No.2), creating the country's biggest operator while at the same time lowering competition, since where there were four, there will be only three.

As part of the proposed deal, Vodafone would own 51% of the combined business and CK Hutchinson Group Telecom Holdings (the owner of the Three brand) would have 49%.

UK: Vodafone and Three announce intention to merge, creating the biggest operator

Of course, as usual in these situations, wonderful things are promised for customers, in order to make everyone forget about how there will literally be less competition in the market if such a deal goes through. "Millions of customers of Vodafone UK and Three UK will enjoy a better network experience with greater coverage and reliability at no extra cost, including through certain flexible, contract-free offers with no annual price increases, and social tariffs", the joint press release states.

The combined business is being provisionally called MergeCo (so imaginative!), and this will supposedly reach 99% of the UK population with its 5G standalone network, "delivering to customers up to a six-fold increase in average data speeds by 2034".

UK: Vodafone and Three announce intention to merge, creating the biggest operator

MergeCo will invest £11 billion in the UK over ten years, and by having "a best-in-class 5G network in place sooner" (compared to what? isn't mentioned), "the merger will deliver up to £5 billion per year in economic benefit by 2030", whatever that means. Every school and hospital in the UK is promised to have access to standalone 5G by 2030, for what it's worth.

Also by 2030, MergeCo will offer fixed wireless access to 82% of households. Current Vodafone UK CEO Ahmed Essam will become MergeCo CEO, and current Three UK CFO Darren Purkis will take the role of MergeCo CFO.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of next year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, the former of which could drag things along significantly.



Reader comments

India, personally, i think the government there is not good to the local population, yet India gov has money for space program, UK don't have a space program, India spend billions on a pointless tallest monument, yet, they have barely 5g network...

  • Anonymous
  • 16 Jun 2023
  • CIR

What are they going to do with the 'loot' after they get it back? Sell it for more 5G funds?

  • sq2013
  • 16 Jun 2023
  • smM

Listen to all the complaining about signal. I worked in a call centre and the callers were often people with a similar lack of knowledge of how mobile signal works. It's impossible to have 100% geographical coverage. To get even close, many more...

Popular articles


Popular devices

Electric Vehicles