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Vodafone UK Sees Fixed Broadband Grow to 838,000 Customers

Monday, November 16th, 2020 (10:45 am) - Score 2,880
Vodafone UK broadband and mobile

Broadband ISP and mobile operator Vodafone UK have published their latest results to the end of September 2020 (financial Q2 FY21), which saw their fixed broadband base top 838,000 customers (up by +45k in the quarter vs +42K in the previous quarter), while their mobile base declined to 17,380,000 (down by -200k).

As usual there have been a number of important developments over the past few months, such as Vodafone moving to test uCPE kit (here) and rollout OpenRAN across rural England and Wales (here). On top of that the operator has reduced the mobile discount for their “gigafast broadband” customers from £5 to £3 (here), conducted a big price hike (here) and launched a second line service for their home broadband subscribers (here).

Furthermore, Vodafone has also introduced their first set of Openreach powered FTTP broadband products (here) and, separately, was recently named the fastest 5G mobile broadband provider for London by umlaut (here). Finally, the operator is still dragging their feet over joining Ofcom’s system of Automatic Compensation (here).

Otherwise it’s noted that, out of Vodafone UK’s fixed broadband customer base of 838,000, some 437,000 of those are “converged” (i.e. they take a mobile plan from the same operator). Speaking of mobile, the operator’s Pay Monthly base continues to grow, thus pretty much all of this quarter’s decline can be traced back to their pre-paid (PAYG) base.

Nick Read, Group CEO, said:

“Today’s results underline increased confidence in our full year outlook. We are reporting a resilient first half performance and we continue to see good commercial momentum across the Group. The results demonstrate the success of our strategic priorities to date, namely increasing customer loyalty, growing our fixed broadband base, driving digitisation to simplify the company and capture significant cost savings, and deliver 5G efficiently through network sharing.

COVID 19 and the reduction in roaming revenues, through the significant reduction in international travel, is currently obscuring our underlying commercial progress, with Q2 service revenue growing by 1.5% excluding roaming. We are now two years into our longer term strategy to transform Vodafone into a business that enables a digital society, generating both sustainable growth and attractive returns. We are executing at pace, but there remains more to be done to achieve our goals.

Now, more than ever, the connectivity services we provide are critical for society and the demand is growing for our services. I am proud of how our dedicated employees have worked tirelessly around the clock to keep everyone connected.”

Overall, the operator saw their quarterly UK service revenue increase to €1,208m (up from €1,193m 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.
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17 Responses
  1. Avatar Mark Scott says:

    I am not surprised due to their aggressive marketing tactics. SMS, Phone calls, letters, emails and they wouldn’t take no for an answer until I told them I had 500mb/s and asked them if they could beat that.

  2. Avatar Sherlock says:

    Very disappointing Vodafone OpenReach FTTP has failed to materialise despite promises.

    Wasted opportunity with ZERO information on their website. Like it doesn’t exist.

    Vodafone are disorganised and their staff are virtually clueless via online chat or phone passing from department to department. When customers know more about their broadband than they do, things are seriously wrong.

    Why is OpenReach bothering rolling out FTTP so fast when Vodafone aren’t making an effort?

    1. Avatar Slive Celly says:

      Openreach do offer Openreach FTTP in some areas. The products they market have the same name as the ones provided using CityFibre (just provided using Openreach).

      To provide 100% coverage of Openreach FTTP providers need to purchase an install c.5k GEA cablelinks at a cost of c.£1k each (assuming they’re already in the handover exchange) and more often than not will need to upgrade exchange backhaul to support the 10 fold increase in speeds. So it’s an expensive and time consuming process. They can not just flick a switch and suddenly offer Openreach FTTP at all of Openreach’s >3.5m premises.

      Openreach have lots of other providers selling services on their network – BT, Zen, Sky to name but a few. So I’m pretty sure Openreach will keep building without worrying about Vodafone too much. (Although I have no doubt they’d love Vodafone to sell more FTTP)

    2. Avatar Sherlock says:

      @Slive Celly Thank You for your kind explanation.

      This seems like a huge setback in expectations for ‘ordinary’ customers who were hoping to get FTTP upgrades on “LLU” OpenReach providers anytime soon.

      I think all the focus on ISPReview articles has been about last-mile access.
      This goes to show people should lower their expectations as it’s not ready for years.

      I’ll stick with my copper – as FTTP rollout is a disaster at this time and early adopters (BT/ZEN) are clearly being fleeced with leased-line prices for FTTP connections.

      I do appreciate your info tho. Thanks once again!

    3. Avatar Andrew Ferguson says:

      Fact check…

      There are not anywhere close to 5000 exchanges where Vodafone would need to buy a new cable link.

      There are only 1,200 handover exchanges i.e. places where FTTP terminates and that number is not going to climb much even with the wider roll-out planned.

      The limited footprint is more about the discounted price negotiated with Openreach and avoiding areas where they expect CityFibre to roll-out too.

    4. Avatar Slive Celly says:

      @Andrew Ferguson that’s correct not 5000 exchanges but there are 5000 layer 2 switches that service providers need to connect with.

    5. Avatar James Band says:

      Agreed. Vodafone not offering Openreach FTTP nationwide is a major disappointment.

      As you said, there information and chat are next to useless. Also they are highly rude as well as incompetent, transferring you to another department without so much as an acknowledgement or courtesy of letting you speak/type (having themselves taken an eon to type a generic response that didn’t address your query as well).

      If Vodafone did their Gigafast price for Openreach FTTP then we’d have some sort of competition in the marketplace. For all intents and purposes, BT is the only realistic seller in this space and their price is too high as it is. The other smaller providers are even more expensive.

      In South Korea, Singapore, Portugal, Spain, FTTP is much better value for money. At the prices being charged here, you’d expect the ISP/Openreach to also provide a full ethernet/fibre wiring for properties to multiple rooms so as to have wired multiple access points, or the backhaul for a Mesh network to boot.

      Vodafone have still not rolled out nationwide Openreach FTTP, nor have anyone else other than BT thus far. And it seems bizarre for other Fibre builders to overbuild into areas where Openreach already exist, and vice versa. Meanwhile multiple areas of the country have zero fibre whatsoever.

    6. Avatar James Band says:

      A typo – Should read “their” and not “there”.

  3. Avatar Handy Andy says:

    But their customer service is really poor

    1. Avatar Sherlock says:

      Yes, I agree, the customer service is truly appalling at Vodafone.

      But Voda is probably the cheapest broadband provider at the moment, so I guess we “pay the price” just in other ways.

      I’m not bothered how bad their customer service is when I don’t need to call it…!!!

  4. Avatar Craig says:

    I wonder how many customers they have lost to Voxi, yes I know that they are the same company.

    1. Avatar Flicker says:

      Page 17 of the linked PDF – 65K new VOXI customers, although not stated how many were xfers from traditional VF contract / PAYG. UK now only 9% of Group EBITDA, dwarfed by Germany at 41%. Overall tone seems pretty defensive to me…

  5. Avatar Handy Andy says:

    Sherlock, you might need to contact customer service at some point. If something goes wrong with the line. Anyway pop telecom and now broadband are cheaper then Vodafone but all 3 have bad customer service. You get what you pay for really, trust me when something goes wrong and you have to go through bad customer service you will be pulling your hair out

  6. Avatar Charlie says:

    I don’t know why because the service is rotten, I have had nothing but issues with my broadband for almost 8 months now and that is topped with very poor customer service.

  7. Avatar James Sandy says:

    Vodafone have consistently failed to deliver the broadband service they advertise to my property and despite the promises of a discount on my bill, have failed to apply that too. Really poor service.

    1. Avatar Sherlock says:

      Hi James,

      When you say Voda have failed to deliver your service, just curious what experience you have had with them. I am also a paying customer.

      Are you able to get online at all with your Vodafone broadband?
      Do you have intermittent problems?
      Do you have time related problems? For instance “worse between 3pm-6pm”?
      Is the reality or expectation much lower than your line estimate?
      Do you know how far you are from your cabinet roughly?

      Are you technical? For instance have you tried isolating master socket from extensions and leaving it on test.

      What kind of master socket do you have? (Telephone and Broadband separate outputs) or are you using microfilters?

      On your router can you find your sync speed? Does it change? Does the uptime of the PPP Session keep going or is it resetting (find in -> Status and Support -> Status)?

  8. Avatar Linda gail Ferguson says:

    Vodaphone absolutely horrendous been with them over 12 years supposed to be a vip customer. Once lock down started my signal kept disappearing every month they said every month they were sorting the problem I took over 800 screen shots of signal disappearing. 6 months later said there was no problem even though they wrote to me in June to confirm there was a problem. On the 13th October they blocked my phone left a 66 year old female with disabilities living on her own could not even ring 191. After over 100 hours on the phones dozens and dozens of emails they only today gave me my code to leave. The cheeky bs even billed me October and November and today renewed my contract for 2 years 3 months before the contact finished without my authority. So glad I can now leave after 8 months of hell

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