“Putting customers first, the deal will create a brand-new future-proofed mobile network which will improve coverage, value and reliability, and provide gigabit speeds to complement Guernsey’s new fibre network.”
Sure has reached an agreement with Bharti Global Limited for Sure to acquire 100% of Airtel-Vodafone in the Channel Islands. The merger will trigger significant investment in the islands’ mobile networks with customers benefiting from faster data speeds, wider coverage, better value for money and a more resilient and secure mobile network.
The merger will result in up to £48m being invested in a new, innovative mobile network which will include 5G services. This development will complement Guernsey's ultrafast, state-of-the-art fibre broadband network. 5G will be delivered in Guernsey and Jersey on an accelerated programme that will provide high-speed gigabit mobile technology to the islands.
Alistair Beak, Sure’s Group CEO, welcomed the merger as good news for customers and the Channel Islands:
"This merger will result in significant investment being made in the Channel Islands’ digital infrastructure at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater,” he said.
“Putting customers first, it will create a brand-new future-proofed mobile network which will improve coverage, value and reliability, and provide gigabit speeds to complement Guernsey’s new fibre network.”
Sure plans to integrate the Airtel-Vodafone team into the new merged business, bringing together a wealth of skills and experience and providing new career and growth opportunities through Sure's extensive training and development program.
Alistair said: “With their broad range of skills and experience we look forward to welcoming the Airtel-Vodafone team to the Sure family. This will be a fantastic opportunity for us all, alongside the current roll out of fibre in Guernsey, to build a mobile network of the highest quality.”
“We are prepared to make a number of promises to ensure Guernsey customers get the best combined value of Sure and Airtel-Vodafone, as well as, promising to improve the quality of network service and reliability.”
The promises are:
- Improved service: The latest 5G mobile technology will improve coverage and download speeds in a new single network. It will complement the cutting-edge fibre network, bringing gigabit speeds everywhere and acting as a key enabler for the digital economy.
- Great value: For all existing and new customers, Sure will continue to offer market leading Unlimited Data plans. Airtel-Vodafone customers will also be able to benefit from Sure’s Big Bundle in the future, saving up to £246 per year. Sure will continue to offer Airtel-Vodafone’s Basic plan which is currently the lowest priced plan available in the market.
- Reliability: The new network will be highly secure, using the most trusted technology, which will achieve full compliance with High-Risk Vendor (HRV) regulations ahead of schedule. The new network will also be built to high standards of resiliency and be better for the environment – with around one third fewer masts and a lower carbon footprint.
The proposed merger is subject to regulatory approval in both Guernsey and Jersey.