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Sure and Channel Islands Coop agreement paves way for mobile revolution

Guernsey and Jersey could soon benefit from a groundbreaking new mobile service thanks to an agreement between the Coop and Sure

Coop, the leading Channel Islands retailer with 28 shops, proposes to give its large membership access to the latest technology and great-value services using Sure’s network.

In what would be a first for the islands, Coop Mobile would become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), offering its own range of mobile services, competitive pricing, and product offerings for customers, all transmitted over Sure’s network infrastructure. Virtual operators are common around the world. In the UK, Tesco Mobile is the largest MVNO with more than 5 million customers.

Sure’s Group CEO Alistair Beak

The launch of Coop Mobile is a legally binding commitment from Sure as part of its proposed acquisition of Airtel Vodafone Channel Islands and means that customers would retain the choice of three operators. While the Coop would be using Sure’s mobile network, it would be competing against Sure and JT for retail customers. The launch is subject to approval of the proposed acquisition by the authorities in both islands and would happen within 12 months of receiving both those approvals.

An approved merger of Sure and Airtel Vodafone would trigger an investment from Sure of up to £48m in next-generation 5G mobile networks to dramatically improve speeds and mobile coverage.

Seven other legally binding commitments, in addition to the launch of the innovative MVNO, accompany the proposed deal and would ensure that customers will benefit from great value, improved services and security, and fair competition.

Sure’s Group CEO Alistair Beak welcomed the MVNO agreement: “Launching a virtual operator is one of a number of legally binding commitments we have made as part of Sure’s proposed acquisition of Airtel Vodafone. The Channel Islands Coop, like Sure, is a well-established and trusted leading local brand and we’re very pleased to be entering this innovative long-term agreement, subject to regulatory approval.

“Introducing the Coop as a virtual operator is the ideal way to preserve competition and customer choice, and makes the proposed acquisition of Airtel Vodafone an even stronger deal. Approval from the Guernsey authorities would pave the way for a significant investment in the secure 5G digital networks the island needs.

“We believe that this could be the first step in a revolution in mobile technology that will play a vital role in connecting our island communities for a better future.”

Mark Cox, Chief Executive of the Channel Islands Co-operative Society said: “The Coop is always looking for opportunities to innovate and offer its customers more choice and greater value at competitive prices. Coop Mobile is an exciting venture for us, for our members and for our customers across the islands, who will benefit from Sure’s investment in the latest technology and our unbeatable retail expertise.”

Media release provided by Sure

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