Sky ups its game with roll-out of phone, internet
Sky will begin offering broadband and telephone services to its Irish customers before the end of the year, raising the stakes against its biggest competitor, UPC.
The company said yesterday that it has inked a wholesale deal with BT Ireland that will see the telecoms firm provide a 'white-label' service to Sky.
While BT manages the telecoms infrastructure, Sky will directly offer the services to its own subscribers.
It's thought that pricing plans for the broadband and telephone services will be announced in October, with the service becoming operational well before Christmas.
According to AC Nielsen, Sky currently has about 693,000 customers in Ireland, making it the single-biggest provider of pay-TV services here.
UPC, which is owned by the US-based Liberty Global Group, had 332,700 subscribers to its TV services at the end of March, 272,000 to its broadband products and a further 187,200 subscriptions to its telephone services.
UPC has spent about €400m upgrading its own network and can offer subscribers broadband speeds of up to 100mb.
It has been aggressively marketing its internet service, and subscribers to its 25mb service were recently upgraded to a 30mb service for free. The BT wholesale offering that Sky will use can currently only offer a maximum speed of 24mb.
However, Sky is almost certain to pitch the triple-play offer of TV, broadband and telephone services firmly on value and service proposition.
Sky will open a new call centre in Ireland in September. It announced last February that the new premises in Dublin will employ 800 people across a range of functions by 2014.
JD Buckley, the managing director of Sky Ireland, said the company was looking forward to deepening its relationships with subscribers.
In the UK, where triple-play services have been available to Sky customers since 2006, 32pc of the group's subscribers pay for all three services from the company.