Eurobites: Vodafone cops a Q2 complaints calamityEurobites: Vodafone cops a Q2 complaints calamity
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre touts its 'True Gig'; Tele2 ups its outlook after healthy Q3; Sky Ireland strikes wholesale fiber deal with Virgin Media.
October 19, 2023
When it comes to customer complaints about its fixed broadband service, Vodafone has had a second quarter to forget. That's the standout finding from the latest aggregation of customer gripes put together by Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator. Overhauling the usual main offender in this department, TalkTalk, Vodafone notched up a complaint-rate of 24 per 100,000 customers and was singled out by Ofcom as a particular cause for concern. "We have engaged with Vodafone regarding their performance in this latest round of complaints data – they have been taking steps to identify and address the causes of these complaints and we would expect to see the results of this to show in the coming months," said the regulator in a statement. BT Mobile, meanwhile, was the most complained-about mobile operator. As for the other side of the coin, Sky continued to attract the fewest brickbats in both broadband, landline and pay-TV.
Maybe things will take a turn for the better for Vodafone in 2024, broadband-wise, as that's when it's introducing a new 2.2Gbit/s full-fiber service via CityFibre's network. The launch follows Vodafone and CityFibre's trials in York earlier in 2023, which, say the companies, demonstrated that customers could indeed reach these speeds in the home with their Pro II Broadband package, a package that includes a Wi-Fi 6E router and booster.
CityFibre has its own trumpet to toot too: it's launching a new "True Gig" 1.2Gbit/s wholesale broadband product that it says will allow providers to offer "gig" services without running the risk of them not turning out to be gig services after all in the eyes of the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. In the UK, Internet service providers are prohibited from advertising a service as 1 Gbit/s unless they can prove half of their customers will actually get 1 Gbit/s on average at peak times. This means that a typical 1Gbit/s wholesale service must be advertised to consumers at slower, more realistically achievable speeds, typically 900 Mbit/s.
Telia's outgoing CEO, Allison Kirkby, has reason to feel that she is leaving her affairs in good order as she prepares to wave goodbye to the Swedish operator for the more high-profile hotseat of BT. Based on its third-quarter results, which saw adjusted EBITDA increase 2.4% year-over-year in like-for-like terms, to 22.76 billion Swedish kronor (US$2.06 billion), Telia is now upgrading its EBITDA outlook to low-single digits this year, compared to its earlier outlook of flat to low-single digit growth. During the quarter, a final and binding agreement to sell Telia's Danish operations and network assets to Norlys was signed.
Sky Ireland has struck a wholesale network access deal with Virgin Media, whose fiber network currently passes around 1 million premises in Ireland. Virgin Media is in the throes of a €200 million ($211 million) upgrade of the network, which should see the network supporting speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s by 2025.
A1 Austria is to include Netflix as standard in its fixed and mobile broadband offer across six of its markets, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Netflix will also be integrated on A1's Xplore TV box in early 2024.
Tele2 is providing the IoT connectivity for "Drifter World," a parking app that uses AI to help drivers find parking spaces and electric vehicle charging stations. When a vehicle arrives in Drifter World, the system automatically detects it using smart cameras and initiates a paid session, which ends when the vehicle leaves.
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