Broadband News

Vodafone ends financial year with 751,000 UK fixed line broadband customers

Compared to its massive mobile customer base the new record number of 751,000 fixed line customers reported in the preliminary results for the financial year ending 31st March 2020 by Vodafone is small but it does show they are catching up with EE and Plusnet.

Over a third of the additional connections were done in Q4 when the number of fixed line customers rose by 64,000 compared to the total of 176,000 in the year. This spike is attributed to the 'Great British Broadband Switch' campaign which was launched to coincide with the new end of contract notification system from Ofcom. Though strictly speaking it is an end of the minimum term notification, since broadband contracts don't end after 12,18 or 24 months but minimum terms finish and pricing often reverts to the standard price rather than any sign-up offer. 

There seems to be no mention of the Gigafast roll-out in conjunction with CityFibre in the results, but that is where our big datasets come into play.  The footprint we have found stands at 201,190 premises passed and we estimate that there are around 21,500 customers so a take-up rate of around 10% for the full fibre service.

Looking at the wider UK picture the product split once you factor in the Openreach VDSL2 footprint Vodafone also sell (ADSL2+ features as they used to sell a LLU ADSL2+ service and there are still people using it).

Product popularity based on speed test observations in order of decreasing service speed:

  • Vodafone Gigafast FTTP (100 to 900 Mbps) product 2.9%
  • Vodafone Superfast 2 VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 product 51.4%
  • Vodafone Superfast 1 VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 product 38.1%
  • Vodafone ADSL2+ product 7.6%

Compared to other providers Vodafone does have a higher proportion on the faster FTTC service and the reason is simple, the price differential between their entry level and top speeds is very small a matter of £2 to £3 and with promotional offers you can grab it for the same price as the slower offer sometimes.

Vodafone Download Speed Profile April 2020
Profile of download speeds for Vodafone fixed line broadband speed tests in April 2020
BT Consumer Download Speed Profile April 2020
Profile of upload speeds for Vodafone fixed line broadband speed tests in April 2020

The profile plots highlight the big step change in speed that the full fibre Gigafast service provides. As the Gigafast footprint grows over the next 12 months we will no doubt see that spike occupy more of the graph and real question is when will Vodafone start to openly sell the Openreach FTTP products in places like Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool where it has agreements to sell the Openreach FTTP products.

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