Vodafone laid out a plan to pursue commercial gains in Germany, setting its sights on opportunities to increase fixed and mobile convergence and enhance its network and customer experience there.
During an earnings presentation, CEO Nick Read noted Germany is “the single largest connectivity market in Europe” but has the “lowest overall rates of convergence we see,” presenting a “significant structural growth opportunity for Vodafone.”
In its report for the first half of its fiscal 2022 (the six months ending September 30, 2021), Vodafone noted only 14% of its fixed customers in Germany also take a mobile product, compared to 90% of its fixed subscribers in Spain.
Read said Vodafone is pursuing a “series of operational and commercial initiatives” to make its service more attractive. For instance, he noted it launched in-home Wi-Fi upgrades in recent months, as well as personalized convergence packages which allow consumers to select their preferred mix of broadband, mobile and TV products.
The CEO added the company has plans to upgrade its hybrid fiber cable network there by splitting nodes and improving the last length of cable that runs into customers' homes. On the fiber front, Read said Vodafone is “engaging” with multiple dwelling units (MDUs) to assess demand and remains “open to other fiber build opportunities, for example in targeted off-footprint areas.”
In what sounded like a reference to potential joint-venture activity, Read added “There is a high degree of capital available for off-balance sheet investment by infrastructure investors, and Vodafone is a very attractive partner.”
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Vodafone isn’t the only operator which has zeroed in on Germany. Deutsche Telekom recently inked a deal with an Australian investor to form a fiber joint venture targeting rural fiber deployments in the country. Liberty Global and Telefonica have also announced plans to build fiber there.
Consolidated revenue of 22.5 billion Euros for the first half of Vodafone’s fiscal 2022 was up year on year from 21.4 billion Euros. Fixed service revenue accounted for 6.2 billion Euros of that total. Net income of nearly 1.3 billion Euros decreased slightly from nearly 1.5 billion Euros in the first half of fiscal 2021.
Germany: Vodafone added 32,000 fixed broadband additions in Q2, down year on year from 50,000. Approximately half of the operator’s customer there now take speeds of at least 250Mbps.
U.K.: The company posted 22,000 fixed broadband net additions, down year on year from 45,000. Last week, it inked an expanded wholesale deal with CityFibre which will allow it to reach 8 million homes with fiber by April 2022.
RELATED: Vodafone targets fiber to 8M U.K. homes in 1H 2022
Italy: Fiscal Q2 broadband net adds of 11,000 were up slightly year on year from 7,000.
Spain: Vodafone lost 32,000 fixed broadband customers in its fiscal Q2, compared to a gain of 28,000 in the year-ago period.