Vodafone denies TalkTalk claims of leaving MVNO market
Claims TalkTalk ended partnership on its terms.
Vodafone has denied suggestions it is about to leave the Mobile Virtual Operator (MVNO) market.
It comes on the back of rival firm TalkTalk claiming that Vodafone had ended its agreement without any prior warning back in November.
In a statement, TalkTalk told the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA): “We now understand that Vodafone is in the process of withdrawing entirely from the MVNO market.”
The company suggested Vodafone had also ended deals with Sainsbury’s and Carphone Warehouse.
It added that a firm with no “active” MVNO agreements in place “cannot be considered to be a competitor in the wholesale MVNO market”.
TalkTalk subsequently expressed concerns that a high-profile acquisition deal from BT for EE would see the network place restrictions on access, harming the competition posed by itself, Sky and Virgin Media, with O2 being the only other option.
However, Vodafone has since denied the allegations, telling TechWeekEurope that it was in fact TalkTalk that had ended their partnership in favour of a new agreement with rival O2, which it said was to start next year.
A spokesperson for the company said it was to inform the CMA of its “correct position”, adding that it “cannot comment on individual commercial decisions made by its partners but the decision to terminate the TalkTalk MVNO agreement was not made by Vodafone”.
It added that TalkTalk’s deal with O2 was mainly driven by a belief that it would offer more benefits, such as the ability to offer 4G and potentially create a hybrid ‘inside-out’ architecture that would cover MVNO and fixed network services.