Is Vodafone going to enter the fixed line broadband fray again?
Vodafone used to have a fixed line broadband service which was sold to PlusNet, then it subsequently purchased Cable and Wireless, gaining a significant fibre backhaul network, LLU network and Demon broadband customers. Now the rumours are emerging that we may see the mobile provider dangle its feet into a converged product marketplace.
The Total Telecom report is a bit concerning as the Vodafone CEO appears to suggest that convergence is not very advanced in the UK. If referring to the convergence of mobile providers and fixed line broadband, then currently it is really just EE and their broadband customer numbers are fairly static. The UK market is highly converged, but only in the IPTV and TV bundle arena, the question Vodafone needs to know the answer to is why have mobile and fixed line operations in the UK never passed the 1 million fixed line broadband customer mark?
A big problem for any firm trying to grab even just 2 or 3% of the UK broadband market share from a standing start is that you are either going to invest billions in infrastructure which is slow to build, or you become just another option for superfast broadband via the Openreach GEA product range.