It’s been reported in the national press today that Three and UPC are ready to complete a deal that will allow UPC to set up as a virtual operator using Three’s network. We’ve heard UPC state many times of late that they are actively looking to enter the mobile market and become the second company in Ireland to offer TV, Broadband, Home Phone and Mobile all in one package.

The mobile network landscape in Ireland is complicated. Most of the operators have some deal in place with the others to use some part of their networks such a Three’s deal with Vodafone for use of their 2G network. Again some of the networks have entered into deals to share infrastructure with a view to improving and speeding up 4G roll out. Further to this we have existing MVNOs such as Lycamobile and Tesco Mobile currently using the O2 network.

With Three’s buyout of O2 still under review, it is thought that this move with UPC will strengthen their case by adding more competition to the market.

UPC entering the mobile market should be good news for the consumer as UPC will have to compete on pricing with Eircom’s existing packages. It should also help ease some of the competition fears consumers have over two of the main networks now becoming one.