The mobile network space in Britain is about to drastically change, with four of the major networks soon going down to three.

Telefonica has announced it will sell O2 to Hutchison Whampoa, which also owns Three UK, for £10.25 billion. The deal means Hutchison Whampoa will eventually have the largest subscriber base in the UK, but it does not come as much of a surprise, considering the deal was rumoured and the pair entered exclusive negotiations a few months ago.

Everything has just been finalised though, and is pending approval by regulators. The UK should therefore be left with Vodafone, EE, and a merged Three UK and O2, though Hutchison Whampoa hasn't confirmed whether it'll maintain O2's brand and services or combine them with Three UK.

Keep in mind Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, Hutchison Whampoa's chairman, recently bought Telefonica's Irish biz for £650 million and combined it with Three Ireland. He also picked up UK’s Eversholt Rail Group for £1.1 billion.

Telefonica hasn't said much else - apart from it is confident customers will now "benefit from greater value, quality and innovation," and that "new and exciting opportunities" should open up for employees of both businesses.

Regulatory approvals might take up to a year.

READ: Three to buy Telefónica's O2 in £10.25 billion deal

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.

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