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Vodafone to launch home broadband and TV services in spring 2015

Vodafone is preparing to launch home broadband and TV services in the UK next year. 

The mobile network, which owns Cable & Wireless, is planning to launch next Spring, but details of exactly where it will roll out, how it will connect to customers homes and even how much it might cost aren’t available. 

Further details on the TV service are also not known. It’s not clear if Vodafone will take a leaf out of BT and TalkTalk’s book, and launch a YouView-based service or go down the EE TV route and launch a different take on connected TV. 

Vodafone to launch home broadband and TV services in spring 2015
Something fast on the horizon: Vodafone plans for a second lap of the UK broadband circuit

News of the plans to launch broadband emerged in Vodafone’s latest financial results. Vodafone said: “Vodafone UK will roll out residential broadband services from Spring 2015. The service will be based on Vodafone’s existing fixed infrastructure, which with more than 20,500 kilometers of fibre. 

“Additional coverage will be provided through wholesale and co-location. We will provide specific details nearer to the launch of the service.”

On an investor call, Vodafone’s regional CEO for Europe Philipp Humm said that Vodafone has more than 500 exchanges that can deliver a ‘VDSL-like speed’, according to Digital TV Europe

This suggests that Vodafone will deliver services to rival that of what’s available to customers via BT’s Openreach network, which currently delivers top download and upload speeds of 80Mbps to 20Mbps via its FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) lines. 

It’s not clear if Vodafone will use VDSL, or HFC (Hybrid Fibre Cable) like Virgin Media does or if it will set up a pure FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) network like Hyperoptic

Humm said that the network would cover more than 50 per cent of UK homes, meaning it comes close to rivalling Virgin Media’s network, which covers roughly 55 per cent of homes, in size. 

Vodafone also revealed ambitions to launch TV services on the same call. Vodafone refused to comment on the specifics, but CEO Vittorio Colao added: 

“We have a wide, wide range of content agreements, distribution content agreements with the usual suspects and the usual big brands. So we think we have a very solid competence that we can deploy further in this area but please don’t ask me today if I’m going to bid for football rights because that’s not the priority for the time being.” 

Vodafone has an existing relationship with Sky which has seen it make Now TV entertainment TV available for free to 4G customers for up to two years. The agreement has also seen Vodafone able to offer Sky Movies and Sky Sports Mobile to customers who sign up for specific 4G deals. 

Vodafone also has relationships with Netflix and Spotify, so it’s possible that a future IPTV service could launch with a number of desirable services already baked in. 

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