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.