A green light from the European Commission for Vodafone’s acquisition of Spanish cable operator Ono followed it being chosen for a joint venture that will build a fibre network across Ireland.
Vodafone has a strategy of adding fixed services to its existing mobile footprint either through acquisition or, in the case of Ireland, building infrastructure from scratch.
The operator was picked by energy supplier ESB as its partner in rolling out a €450 million fibre-to-the-building network across Ireland.
Meanwhile its proposal to shell out €7.2 billion for Ono was given the blessing of the European Commission, which concluded it offered no threat to competition because the two companies are complementary.
Vodafone and Ono do overlap in certain markets but face rival services from the likes of Telefonica, Orange and Jazztel.
The combined entity will not be able to shut out fixed or mobile rivals from offering multiple, including quadplay, services because alternatives exists and regulations are already in place to guarantee wholesale access.
Meanwhile Vodafone and ESB’s 50-50 venture will begin rolling out its new network across Ireland in the coming months, with the first customers having access to an all-fibre broadband network from the start of 2015. The partners promise speeds from 200Mb/s up to 1Gb/s.
The joint venture will build and manage the network but will offer open access to all operators in the country on a wholesale basis.
Vodafone’s quadplay strategy is already in full swing in Ireland, where it has 200,000 fixed broadband customers. It has over 8.5 million across Europe, it said.
And the operator is looking to buy or build in more European markets. Last year, it acquired Kabel Deutschland and just a few weeks ago it acquired an option to build its stake in Greek fixed operator Forthnet.