TalkTalk ditches Vodafone to offer 4G plans with O2's help

As one of the UK's only quad-play providers, TalkTalk offers mobile plans alongside its TV, phone and internet packages. Since 2010, the company relied upon Vodafone's infrastructure to underpin its own network, but it's now decided it wants to try something new. In a joint announcement, TalkTalk and Telefónica (UK) today publicised an agreement that will see the UK media company switch across to O2's network, allowing the carrier to provide 3G and 4G services for its customers. With Virgin Media bundling mobile plans with its traditional home bundles and Sky thought to be readying the public launch of its own network (with Vodafone's help), TalkTalk now faces significant competition in the battle over low-cost tariffs. However, considering 9.5% of its total customer base already own one of its SIMs, the provider is already off to a pretty decent start.

Update: Chatting with Bloomberg, TalkTalk's CEO said the partnership with Telefónica will go beyond simply using the latter's mobile network. With help from its new friend, TalkTalk wants to outfit its customers with femtocells (akin to small, indoor mobile masts), so they'll never have to worry about spotty mobile signal at home.