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Vodafone UK Report 70K Fixed Broadband Users and Moot National FTTH

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 (7:42 am) - Score 1,690
vodafone uk broadband

Mobile giant Vodafone UK has just reported their latest results to the end of June 2015 (Q2), which reveals that their fixed broadband customer base has increased by +4,000 to total 70,000 and 4G subscribers have grown from 3M in Q1 to 4.7M now, with related outdoor network coverage reaching 68%.

At this point it’s important to stress that the bulk of those 70,000 fixed broadband customers come from Vodafone’s corporate / enterprise base and not their new consumer home broadband service.

Vodafone has previously informed ISPreview.co.uk that the 70k figure does not represent their subscriber total, although they’ve refused to tell us what that figure is so we have little choice but to focus on the data they do release.

In any case Vodafone’s new consumer home broadband (Vodafone Connect) product was only launched in June 2015 (here) and it currently has limited coverage, although the service is expected to become available nationwide by the end of this summer. The TV service is also still on track to launch by the end of 2015, although details remain thin.

Readers can find a bit more detail in the operators Financial Trading Update document and we’ve pasted some interesting KPIs below, which gives a bit more detail on their 4G progress and customer data consumption.

vodafone q2 2015 results

In our view the operator still isn’t doing enough to promote their Vodafone Connect service and indeed we’ve heard virtually nothing about it since launch, which compares poorly with the almost weekly promotions of their bigger rivals. On the other hand it seems likely that Vodafone will want to wait until the service has nationwide coverage before giving it a serious push.

Elsewhere Vodafone’s CEO, Vittorio Colao, has renewed his calls for BT to be split up and they’ve also become one of the first rivals to say that they would be willing to put money into a separate Openreach: “We would be prepared to put equity in a vehicle that could deliver fibre to us and also other companies, whether it is an independent Openreach or a similar vehicle,” said Colao.

Colao further suggested that a separated Openreach should focus on building a new network infrastructure, which could bring fibre optic cables all the way to homes and businesses (Fibre-to-the-Home / Premises (FTTH/P)). “It’s important that the UK gets more fibre and not more expensive football,” concluded Colao with a BTSport jibe. It remains to be seen whether Ofcom agrees or not.

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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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14 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve Jones

    At least this one sounds like a bit more of a carrot to BT shareholders if it turned out Vodafone were committed to provide investment in a separated Openreach. There is a big “however”. That is the potential dilution of existing shareholder offerings. Unless the “enhanced” OR was to be worth a lot more, it would not be attractive.

    But it’s rather more positive than the normal stuff from TalkTalk or Sky which, in truth, offers not investment but which is chiefly aimed at weakening BT Retail as a competitor.

    What cannot be avoided in all this is OR is a £5bn turnover company (roughly half from line rental half from provision of private circuits). The business is heavily regulated and there’s no prospect of upstream revenues (the sole exception is VULA services – which actually disappear with FTTH). The private circuit business is also likely to be in declining revenue given Ofcom’s proposed forcing of “dark fibre”. Then there’s increased infrastructure competition with an extended VM network and alternative network providers in metropolitan areas.

    It’s actually extremely difficult to see how a separate OR would be able to generate increased revenues for the £20bn+ that would be required for a “universal” FTTH network. The best guess has to be that it’s never going to happen. What we will get is more “patchwork” provision.

  2. I think your arguement gives Ofcom no choice but to push for full separation.

    Ofcom mostly confirmed the Vodafone report suggesting BT gamed the regulatory cost regine to the tune of several hundred million, and so the profits in OR are high for a regulated business, and yet those profits have not visible in improvements in the network.

    The BT £3bn for NGA is a myth, (50,000 commercial cabs and fibre paths did not cost £60,000 each when NAO is identifying closer to 1/3 of this) and the £1.7bn in state aid for rural is only being resourced by BT to fund 30,000+- cabinets without any verifiable BT contribution. Every single county will be reporting surpluses due to setting excess budgets and the lack of OR resource to do FTTP in-fill. It is the lack of investment in OR, given the returns and the state aid available that needs addressing. How many BT shareholders know that BT’s current plan for Government is complete 30,000 cabinets for BDUK and leave several hundred million pounds in an Investment Fund?

    Returns on regulated businesses have been good, so good it makes a stand alone OR attractive compared to the rest. I think, like Vodaphone, Sky and Talk Talk would take equity in a separated OR if given the opportunity.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Once again the point that is so often missed – who finds the money for the Opex?

    • @Gadget Opex – so BT say £640m of the £1bn is for 7 years opex on 30,000 cabs. Is £3k pa crdible for Opex, when a VDSL card costs $500, and the power for the cab is so low.
      So provide a estimate for your operational cost, so we can discuss? Can you provide the AG and PG codes so we see your concern.
      The costs for FTTc Maintenance and operations in the current Ofcom consultation on cost allocation are tiny. You may have lots of costs to allocate, but not too many are related to FTTC.
      Happy to be wrong but do reference some numbers.
      To date the total average costs are a fraction of those budgetted and most counties need to pay for the spines and planning before the cabinets are installed.

    • @Gadget the £3bn is capital. BT commercial opex is not referenced, unless your now saying £3bn is capital plus 7 years of cost allocations.

    • Avatar Gadget

      just posing the question – If you are making a company statement about how much you are investing in NGA would you not also include running as well as building costs?

    • @Gagdet The term Capital is defined and well understood. Anything else you need to define.

    • Avatar Gadget

      My statement made it very clear that if you were talking about how much money you were investing in building and running an NGA network it would not be unreasonable to take into account Opex as well, you might also talk about the Capex separately but the clue is in exactly what you are measuring against all the various demands necessary to provide a service for at least 7 years that may be measured in £ directly or translated into £ but nevertheless still have to be funded.

    • Avatar TheManStan


      Would it not be easier for you to show us where BT said it was CAPEX only? I haven’t seen any press releases that say anything other than invest or contribute…

    • Steve Williams BT Director of Group Strategy, ….We are willing to spend a further £1 billion (in addition to the £2.5bn) or so of BT’s capital to match Government funding to do that, to roll it out into the final third, and to get as far as we possibly can into the final third…. HOL-2012.
      This when combined with Iain Lingstones comments which always related to Capex envelopes in the recordings on BTplc results, suggests little about the inclusion of future allocations of costs.
      Gavin P most recent comments were spending £3bn on 50,000 and 3m km of fibres. 3m km of fibres looks a joke as well.

    • Avatar themanstan

      None are formal statements (press release or quarterly/annual reports) so will be classified as comments. The first is a gambit in context of pre-BDUK positioning, much like Fujitsu consortium´s gambit of saying they would spend billions.

  3. Avatar gerarda

    I see from the report that the 68% outdoor 4G coverage becomes 76% using Ofcom’s definition. Is this another example of Ofcom bending the definitions so that they appear to be regulating an environment that is meeting its targets?

  4. @The Man Stan, the presentations to PAC and the NAO were mere gambits then! That might be the only way to explain the numbers.
    We do need to re-intoduce the notion of contempt of Parliament then.

  5. “ncreased by +4,000 to total 70,000 and 4G subscribers have grown from 3M in Q1 to 4.7M now, with related outdoor network coverage reaching 68%.” omg thats crazy and they have the best customer service response times compared with the big 3

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