Vodafone adds 44,000 broadband customers in last quarter
Vodafone has been aggressively pricing its VDSL2 fixed line broadband services in the UK and has grown its customer base from just 183,000 in Q3 16/17 to 479,000 at the end of Q2 18/19.
The latest financial results don't give any insights on the Gigafast service other than it has started in Milton Keynes and other areas are on the way, so for now the real contributor to the results in terms of fixed line broadband is the VDSL2/FTTC services.
Q4 17/18 was the quarter with the highest rate of sign-ups to the fixed line services at 66,000, Q1 18/19 was down at 53,000 and the latest figure is 44,000 in Q2 18/19. We suspect that dip is the result of the other broadband providers having caught up with the pricing offers that meant for a while the Vodafone FTTC services had a clear price lead. Other factors coming into play may be that as penetration of FTTC services grows there are less new customers to sign up so things tend to level out. Other factors include the shift to fixed price contracts from a number of competitors that mean people are locked into the contracts they signed up for the full term and there may even be fall out from the VDSL2 is not real fibre campaign run by CityFibre i.e. people may see that marketing and decide to sit back and wait for a full fibre service to arrive - even if partial fibre services will give them an improved service compared to ADSL/ADSL2+.
With Black Friday approaching we will get an idea of which operators are keenest to expand their FTTC customer numbers and we might even see one slip below the magic £20/m for the period of the minimum contract term.
From analysis of the speed test results Vodafone is a very different provider to most, since it only has around 11.5% of its fixed line customers on ADSL2+ based services, the majority (59.6%) are using the Superfast 1 (VDSL2/FTTC 40/10) service. These figures are observations based on the volumes of people testing using a Vodafone connection.
The Milton Keynes Gigafast footprint that we know about covers some 3,549 premises in Milton Keynes currently and hopefully we will see this grow to more streets soon. Operators like GTC/OFNL have a much larger FTTP footprint at some 35,723 premises spread across England mainly and does have a presence on some new build estates in Milton Keynes.