Nearly four years after it sold its fixed line “Vodafone at Home” network, Vodafone re-entered the British landline market Wednesday with the debut of Vodafone Connect, a fiber-based broadband service that offers download speeds of up to 76 Mbps to residential customers. Cindy Rose, the consumer director at Vodafone UK, described the wireless carrier’s return to the fixed broadband sector as “an ambitious launch in a crowded market” where Vodafone hopes to lure customers from BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and other established providers. Vodafone will use ADSL and fiber network infrastructure acquired in recent years to provide voice and broadband services initially to existing wireless customers in selected areas. Service will be marketed to new customers throughout the United Kingdom by the end of this year. Vodafone Connect will be offered in three speed packages—17 Mbps, 28 Mbps, and 76 Mbps—and subscribers will receive a router and access to a companion mobile app, known as “Boost,” that allows them to prioritize the connectivity of a single device to their home network.
Vodafone, which already serves 11 million fixed broadband customers throughout Europe, anticipates that its British network will cover 22 million potential customers by the end of this summer. Describing the launch of Vodafone Connect “as a really exciting move . . . as we move our business into a new phase,” Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp told reporters: “we are looking forward to the year ahead, including our move into offering TV services, as one which will prove to be a step change in our customers’ lives.”