Vodafone may be about to buy into the broadband market in a big way. Vodafone is apparently in the evaluation stages of making an offer for Cable & Wireless Worldwide, with suggestions that the bid may be over £700m.
Cable & Wireless in the UK own Thus who in turn bought Demon in 2002, also Cable & Wireless has a LLU network that offers wholesale ADSL2+. The wholesale service is used by firms like Virgin Media to offer off-net ADSL services where it does not have its own cable network, as well as a number of other smaller resellers.
The move by Vodafone is interesting, as only in December 2011 we learnt the firm was shifting its Vodafone @ Home customers over to Plusnet. Most coverage is suggesting that the purchase is more for access to the extensive fibre backbone allowing for lower cost roll-out of more cell towers and the growth of data usage. Hopefully Vodafone intends to keep the LLU services running rather than sell them onto another provider, as the LLU market is contracting in terms of provider choice. The major players having hoovered up the others to leave just a handfull of operators.