Vodafone plugs into broadband against stiff competition
Mobile phone giant Vodafone has entered the fiercely competitive UK broadband market and aims to become the prime cheap utility in this arena.
Its service – called Vodafone at Home – costs £25 per month and offers up to 8Mb unlimited broadband and includes landline calls to those on a Vodafone contract.
Vodafone’s move follows recent similar launches by Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB. The broadband market is seen as a valuable UK investment opportunity by the telecoms companies and broadband now accounts for 69% of all UK Internet connections.
According to analysts Point Topic there could be as many as 2.5 million new broadband customers to be wooed in the first six months of the year, and the competition is so intense that Cable & Wireless – the UK’s second biggest telecoms firm – left the broadband market at the end of last year.
Vodafone intends to rent Internet access from BT rather than construct its own network, which will lessen the capital start-up costs of its UK investment – and which will mean its service will be available quickly for new customers.
There has been a lot of consumer and regulatory concern at the broadband market recently, as the fierce competition has encouraged some companies to overstep the mark in their sales pitches.
Regulator Ofcom has promised to impose swingeing fines of up to 10% of company turnover on offenders to ensure public confidence is maintained in this sector of the UK investment arena.