Setanta Sports reportedly negotiating deal to launch mobile network this year

7 Jul 2014

Irish sports broadcaster Setanta Sports is reportedly in discussion with Three Ireland for a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal similar to those already established by UPC and Carphone Warehouse.

As an MVNO, Setanta will be able to deliver mobile services to customers on the back of Three’s infrastructure.

According to a report from The Irish Times, the broadcaster intends to launch a package deal offering TV, phone and mobile broadband services, along with access to Setanta Go, an online player delivering live feeds of all Setanta and BT Sport channels.

The European Commission has recently approved Three’s acquisition of O2 Ireland, under conditions to ensure continued competitiveness in the Irish market. Part of this agreement includes Three’s obligation to establish two MVNOs on its network.

Deals with UPC and Carphone Warehouse already fill this quota and both these companies have scheduled their mobile network launches for 2015, while The Irish Times claims Setanta’s network could be live before the year is out.

It is believed that Setanta has been in talks with the Hutchison Whampoa-owned operator for the past few months and has hired consultant Leo Hassett, former head of mobile business development at Eircom, to advise on its mobile plans.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.