Vodafone will shortly announce plans for the spring launch in the UK of a consumer broadband service which will be followed by a cloud-based TV service later in the year, the Financial Times has reported.
An announcement about the broadband service is expected in “coming weeks”.
Vodafone previously offered fixed broadband in the UK but withdrew from the market. Now it is set for a return. The operator said last year a spring launch was on the cards. And BT’s proposed acquisition of leading operator EE has changed the competitive landscape.
Part of this strategy is to use BT Openreach’s network technology to provide more people with better speeds than local exchanges as well as connect its existing fibre broadband network to BT’s larger exchanges.
Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2011 means it has access to a large national fibre network and thus has an advantage over internet providers like Sky and TalkTalk that are more dependent on BT’s broadband infrastructure.
The Cable & Wireless network is already used by business customers.
BT is looking to close a deal to buy EE which will allow its customers to “benefit from innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, Wi-Fi and 4G”.
Following initial news of the deal, there was some speculation about a potential bid by Vodafone for international cable company Liberty Global.
In September, it was reported that Vodafone will delay any decision on whether to pursue its quadplay ambitions in the UK until the impact of fixed incumbent BT’s move into the consumer mobile market becomes clear.
Ofcom research suggests that 2 per cent of British consumers buy quadplay, but a recent survey by CCS Insight shows that the number may rise as more people own more than one device.