Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and Tesco, co-owners of Tesco Mobile, have announced a 10-year renewal of their joint venture, maintaining their 50:50 partnership. With over 5.5 million customers, Tesco Mobile is reportedly the UK's largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) two decades after its inception, according to the joint statement.
Tesco Mobile Renewal
The renewal underscores Virgin Media O2's position as the preferred network among major mobile providers, ensuring Tesco Mobile customers will continue to benefit from its extensive coverage. Notably, 99 percent of the population is covered by Virgin Media O2's 4G services, with 5G now available across more than half of the country.
Virgin Media O2 said: "We have enjoyed great success with Tesco Mobile over the past 20 years, as a partner and a network provider, and I have no doubt that will continue over the next decade."
"With demand for mobile data greater than ever, we're continuing to invest heavily in our network to give our customers, and those of other providers who use our connectivity, an even better experience with the fast and reliable mobile services they expect and rely on," VMO2 added.
Tesco UK said, "This renewal will ensure that our customers can continue to benefit from excellent connectivity across the UK, while enjoying all the benefits of supermarket mobile, including exclusive deals with Clubcard Prices."
Tesco Mobile is a joint venture equally owned by Tesco Group and Virgin Media O2 UK. Prior to the completion of the O2 and Virgin Media merger on June 1, 2021, Telefonica UK owned 50 percent of the company.
Shetland Island Investment
In a recent development, Virgin Media O2 announced its investment to transform mobile connectivity on the Shetland Islands. The company plans to build or upgrade six masts in Shetland over the next few months as part of the Shared Rural Network programme.
VMO2 said the new masts will provide improvements to 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services in the area, where, until recently, large swathes of the islands have experienced little to no mobile signal from most mobile network operators.
Currently, only 26 percent of the Highlands and Islands benefit from 4G coverage from all four mobile network operators - Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, EE, and Three. This coverage is set to more than double to 68 percent after all Shared Rural Network upgrades have been delivered.