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4G Mobile Boosts Vodafone UK as Fixed Line Broadband Users Fall

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 (1:10 pm) - Score 1,750
vodafone-uk-mobile-broadband

Vodafone UK has reported that its new 4G Mobile Broadband services are now available in 13 cities across the country, attracting 370k subscribers (Q4 2013), and a bigger move into Pay TV is being rumoured. But sadly their fixed line broadband ISP subscriber base has suffered another sharp fall to just 59k users (down from 85k in Q2 2013).

It’s important to note that Vodafone doesn’t itself sell a fixed line broadband service to consumers and they gave up on their own At Home product in 2011 (here). Nearly all of their remaining subscribers were inherited through the £1.044bn deal to buy telecoms giant Cable & Wireless Worldwide (here), which among other things supplied various ISPs with unbundled (LLU) broadband lines. Unfortunately Vodafone once again appears to be struggling with this side of its business.

As you’d expect the story on the 4G front is looking more positive and the operator has been quick to highlight the differences between its slower 3G and latest Mobile Broadband services (see illustration below). In addition, Vodafone now claims to be offering 90% outdoor 4G coverage in London.

vodafone uk 4g usage

Despite all this it’s noted that Vodafone’s UK has come under increasing pressure from rivals in both the consumer mobile and fixed line sectors, which might be part of the reason why it keeps being linked to talks with BSkyB (Sky Broadband). Speculation points to some sort of broadband, mobile and or TV content deal but so far nothing concrete has been confirmed (here). TalkTalk is also seen as a potential target.

Vodafone recently secured around £50bn ($84bn) from the sale of their American business (i.e. a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless) and that should give them plenty of flexibility to tackle any problem areas. Perhaps they’ll do an O2 and get rid of those fixed line broadband lines to Sky, while also adding more TV content for their 4G subscribers (consumers would perhaps rather see bigger data allowances).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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