The new 'virtual' operator, which is yet to be named, will utilise the newly-combined networks of 3 Ireland and O2 Ireland. It is expected that the new network will initially employ approximately 50 staff.
Following the acquisition of O2 by Three, a condition was imposed whereby the company would allow at least two mobile virtual network operators (MNVOs) to set up. These virtual operators will take advantage of the existing wireless infrastructure of a network. It was previously announced that UPC would be one such mobile operator and Carphone Warehouse is following suit.
Managing director of The Carphone Warehouse, Peter Scott, was quick to assure existing operators that there will not be favouritism towards the new venture. He explained, “We intend to treat the operator and the retail business as separate units. This way, the retail business will treat the new operator in exactly the same way that it would any other operator. There will be no added incentive for our retail staff to sell an operator connection over another operator's connection."
The new operator is being encouraged to purchase 4G spectrum from 3 Ireland, but Scott said that it’s not part of the initial plan. He said that it’s not on the agenda in the first three to five years, but may happen in the long term, depending on “how many customers we get and how the business model develops."