Three UK Three mobile the UK’s newest entry and our youngest carrier at only 12 years old but could this be their year?

On March 3rd, 2003 (03/03/03) Three set about disrupting the UK consumer market and made a play for cheap tariffs on their 3G network and backfilling the coverage gaps with a national roaming agreement for 2G services starting with O2 up until 2006, and currently with Orange for those hard to reach places.

With the UK market only going one way in terms of consolidation, it’s no surprise that O2’s Spanish owner Telefonica is trying hard to reduce its debt pile by offloading costly operating companies where the market is saturated.

So why Three? Well with one of the richest men in Asia and if the stories are correct probably the hardest working business individuals there is, Li Ka-Shing is out to take the UK market by storm.

A purchase of this magnitude in terms of value for money gives Three a gigantic step to the top of the podium in terms of market share and overall customer numbers but what next?

The UK operators are finding it hard to find new innovative services to steady the falling Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and are looking at business customers to take more than the traditional mobile services from their respective portfolio.

But how much credibility will O2’s business customers show towards Three who are solely focused on servicing a consumer market and are probably better known for their cheap tariffs coupled with a ‘ok’ customer service approach. I have a feeling if too much change happens like brand, redundancies, etc then O2’s business customers will start looking across the M4 towards Newbury or heading down the road to the South West in search of EE.

For me theres’ too many “what ifs” at this stage like with any company acquisition, but what i hope happens is the UK telecoms market keeps getting stronger, innovation prevails and customers get the best choice when it comes to reviewing their business telecoms services.

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