Monday, 24 January 2011

BSkyB buying The Cloud

Intriguing story in the Sunday Times business section this weekend about BSkyB buying The Cloud. Sky is already a major player in UK broadband through its LLU-supplied double play, but the addition of The Cloud's national urban network of Wi-Fi hotspots gives it an intriguing mobile play.

Two thoughts come to mind:

1. This is a simple hedge against future charges levied by mobile operators for streaming mobile video
2. This is Sky testing the waters for a future move into mobile telephony. Digital Dividend spectrum will be auctioned in the UK in 2012 and Wi-Fi networks play an increasingly important role in the economics of MNOs

Sky announce their results on Thursday, so confirmation of the deal will probably occur then - if it does then this marks the first major move of what promises to be a fascinating year for TMT in the UK.

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