O2 Buys Be

O2 enters UK broadband market with purchase of Be

June 20, 2006

2 Min Read

LONDON -- O2 today announced that it has purchased Be, one of the most innovative and technically advanced UK broadband providers, for £50 million. With Be, O2 immediately acquires the most up to date broadband capability in the UK and a platform for developing future converged services that integrate mobile and the internet.

Be is building its own national broadband network. It was the first UK broadband internet service provider (ISP) to use the latest ADSL2+ technology which offers speeds of up to 24Mbps. Be has so far rolled its network out to more than 150 local exchanges and has plans to be in more than 400, providing approximately 50% population coverage by the end of 2006. This will be further extended towards 70% population coverage by the end of next year. This will make it one of the UK’s largest broadband providers by installed local loop unbundled (LLU) exchanges.

Making the announcement, Peter Erskine, Chairman and CEO of O2 said: “The O2 Group benefits greatly from the experience of Telefónica and insight into other markets such as the Czech Republic and Germany where customers have clearly demonstrated a demand for integrated broadband and mobile packages. Building on our existing fixed/mobile capability in Germany, the Czech Republic and the Isle of Man, Be’s superior broadband operations and services help us fulfil our previously-stated aim of adding high quality broadband capability to our portfolio in the UK.”

Matthew Key, CEO of O2 UK, commented: “Be is a young but highly innovative and ambitious business. Like us, it puts customers at the heart of what it does, moves quickly, and challenges convention. This acquisition will enable us to take advantage of technology innovations to offer a wider range of joined up mobile, internet and content services for our consumer and business customers in the future.”

Managing director of Be, Dana Pressman, stated: “I am delighted that we are becoming part of such a respected and dynamic organisation as O2. With 16 million customers in the UK and significant opportunities for future growth in fixed and mobile, this is the start of an exciting new era for all of us within Be.”

Telefónica Europe plc (O2)

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