Guernsey Press

Sure set to merge with rival Airtel

AIRTEL-VODAFONE has been bought by Sure

Sure CEO Alistair Beak.

If what both sides are calling a merger is approved by the regulator in both islands, Sure will hold about 80% of the mobile market share in Guernsey and almost 50% in Jersey. Airtel currently has about a quarter of the market in each island.

Sure said the deal would result in almost £50m. being invested into the island’s mobile network, including 5G services being introduced earlier than planned.

‘The merger will result in significant investment being made in the Channel Islands’ digital infrastructure at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater,’ said Sure CEO Alistair Beak.

‘Putting customers first, it will create a brand-new future-proofed mobile network which will improve coverage, value and reliability, and provide gigabit speeds to complement Guernsey’s fibre network.’

He said that Airtel customers would not be required to make any changes, while Airtel-Vodafone staff will be incorporated into the new business, which the company’s CEO, Sid Ahlawat, said the team was looking forward to.

‘This merger will benefit consumers, enterprises, employees and the telecom infrastructure as a whole,’ he said.

Sure has made a number of promises, including improved reliability and service as a whole, which Mr Beak said would be legally binding commitments.

‘The combination of Sure and Airtel will mean the value of money is even better than if we were separate,’ said Mr Beak.

‘This will be a fantastic opportunity for us all, alongside the current roll-out of fibre in Guernsey, to build a mobile network of the highest quality.’

While plans have not been confirmed, Mr Beak said there would be no changes to the premises used by Sure and the company would continue to be based in the island.

‘We are headquartered in Guernsey and proud to be here.’