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Vodafone UK Grows to 667,000 Fixed Broadband Users as 5G Expands

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 (8:28 am) - Score 3,400
Vodafone UK 2016

Mobile giant and UK ISP Vodafone has today published their latest quarterly results to the end of September (Q2 FY20), which revealed that they managed to add an impressive 61,000 new fixed broadband customers in the quarter (total base of 667,000) and that’s up from +31K in the previous quarter.

One of the main developments over the past quarter has been Vodafone’s decision to expand their UK “full fibre” broadband coverage by reaching a new agreement to harness Openreach’s rapidly expanding Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network (here), which is being done in a way that complements rather than replaces their existing deal with Cityfibre.

On top of that they’ve also signed a new 4G / 5G mobile wholesale agreement with Virgin Media, which will see Vodafone replace EE as the primary MVNO partner on the Virgin Mobile service (here). In the future we could also see Virgin Media launching a wholesale platform for their fixed broadband network, which is something that Vodafone might in-turn choose to harness (here).

The operator has also now launched ultrafast 5G services in 7 European markets, with services available in 58 cities with “observed speeds of up to 1Gbps“. Spain, Italy and Romania launched in June, the UK and Germany in July, Ireland in August and Hungary in October. 5G roaming is also live for 5G customers roaming on Vodafone networks in Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain. “Our 5G network will be available in nine European markets by the end of the current financial year,” said the operator.

Alongside Vodafone’s new UK 5G network they also launched a new range of commercial offers, including speed-differentiated “Vodafone Unlimited” mobile data (mobile broadband) plans and “Vodafone Together” convergent offers (i.e. mobile and fixed broadband bundles). By the end of the period, the operator said that it had 1 million customers on these plans.

Overall Vodafone’s UK mobile network is now home to a total customer base of 17,806,000 and that’s up by an impressive 486,000 in the quarter. Clearly it’s been a good quarter for both fixed broadband and mobile base growth. We suspect that a lot of the growth in fixed broadband has been fuelled by their heavy price discounting, while the new unlimited data plans and 5G have probably given mobile a boost.

Nick Read, Vodafone Group CEO, said:

“I am pleased by the speed at which we are executing on the strategic priorities that we announced this time last year. This is reflected in our return to top-line growth in the second quarter, which we expect to build upon in the second half of the year in both Europe and Africa.

The consistency of our commercial performance has improved in both regions, and we have made a fast start on integrating the acquired Liberty Global businesses, where we see significant long-term opportunity. Our digital transformation is already creating a better experience for our customers, improving our differentiation, supporting growth and at the same time reducing our structural costs.

We have now secured network sharing agreements across most of our major European markets, and we recently announced a major long-term wholesale partnership with Virgin Media in the UK, in order to improve the utilisation of our network assets. And we expect our European TowerCo to be operational by May next year, enabling us to continue to unlock the significant value embedded in our tower infrastructure.”

We should add that the last quarter also saw Vodafone join with O2, EE, Three UK, Ofcom and the Government in order to agree a new £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) scheme, which aims to make 4G mobile services available to 95% of the UK landmass by 2025 (here).

Otherwise Vodafone’s overall UK service revenue for the quarter hit €1,218m, which is down from €1,233m in the previous quarter. The full report is here (PDF).


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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar bob says:

    Still waiting for 4G+ coverage. 4G on band 20 with only 10Mhz bandwidth is just not enough for towns outside of London!

    1. Avatar CJ says:

      I’m guessing in the East of the country? Where O2 controls the network and has been very slow to upgrade equipment to support Vodafone band 7.

      The idea that Vodafone could benefit from increased utilisation of its network is a bad joke for those of us living in the O2-controlled eastern side of the country.

    2. Avatar Ryan says:

      The network speed in the O2 controlled areas are a total joke, been to a number of major city and towns in the east of England and Scotland where the 4G is just band 20 3G in them area are sometimes faster than 4G.

      Lucky where I live in Scotland about 10-11 outside Glasgow is still within the Vodafone controlled area so about to get B1,B7,B20 in my area

  2. Avatar Jamie Simms says:

    I live in Leicester and Vodafone service and speed is so poor again this is the O2 controlled area of the network so there will be no 5G in this area until at least late 2021.

    4G speeds are hopeless and even Sky Go and BT sport apps buffer if they are used during peak times.

    I really do think that Vodafone need to roll out more 5G to more places around the UK and not just on the Western side

  3. Avatar John says:

    Please can Vodafone sort their routing issues out on their Mobile network 🙁

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