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August 12, 2015

Quad-play war escalates as Vodafone rolls out broadband

Competitors are seeking new ways to differentiate.

By Alexander Sword

Competition in the telecoms bundle market is intensifying as Vodafone extends its broadband and fixed line service.

The service, which had been trialled regionally with selected customers, will now be available to Vodafone’s millions of customers across the UK. It offers speeds of up to 76 Mbps.

Vodafone has also aimed to boost user experience by launching a dedicated application for managing its services. Called Vodafone Connect, the app provides a range of features to control wi-fi within the home. Customers can prioritise devices, focus wi-fi signal, manage and set time limits and control guest access.

In addition, Vodafone is offering an Easy Switching service to allow customers to move onto Vodafone Broadband, with engineers provided to coordinate the transfer.

Vodafone’s focus on customer experience in its offering reflect the increasing competition in the quad-play market. On 10 August, BT launched the My BT app for iOS and Android, aimed at helping customers manage their accounts.

On 11 August, EE launched a promotion lowering the cost of unlimited home broadband to £1 a month for the first year and offering up to £100 to cover the cost of exit fees from other ISPs. Earlier this month, TalkTalk cut the price of its service from £10 to £7.50 as part of a promotion.

According to Fernando Elizalde, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner, Vodafone will have to look to user experience to differentiate.

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"Vodafone has a strategy today of creating triple -play services in many countries. In the UK they do have a fixed network that is mainly serving businesses.

"They need to position themselves as a quad-play," Elizalde adds, expecting that Vodafone will follow EE’s strategy and "sell to current customers then reach out to non-customers."

"They won’t have any enticing content like BT has. For Pay-TV, they will try to reach consumers on user experience rather than content.

"Maybe there will be an agreement with Sky for content, but Sky is very protective of content. Vodafone may have to resell."

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