As Australians start signing up to the NBN en masse and telcos jostle to win home broadband customers, Vodafone is jumping in to get a piece of the action, announcing it will begin offering fixed broadband services to Australians from the end of 2017.
Company CEO Iñaki Berroeta confirmed the move today, saying Australians "expect connectivity whenever they want it, wherever they are" and Vodafone will be ready to deliver.
While Vodafone offers fixed broadband in other markets, including the UK, Vodafone Hutchison has previously stayed out of the home internet market, focusing instead on mobile in Australia. The telco has no plans to slow down on that front,in Australia's first public trials.
But an NBN service will allow Vodafone to target Australians in every aspect of their connected lives, meaning its mobile customers will no longer have to turn to a competitor when getting a home internet connection.
Vodafone is currently Australia's third largest mobile telco, according to stats from Kantar WorldPanel, reaching 15 percent of the total mobile market, behind Optus (22 percent) and Telstra (42 percent). And while a fixed broadband contract is a different beast to a mobile plan, Vodafone is no doubt hoping to grow its overall share of the delicious, delicious internet pie.
According to Vodafone's CEO, the move to broadband is about "seamlessly" connecting Australians at home, at work, and in between.
"Customers want seamless connection, easy-to-understand plans and reliable service," Berroeta said. "That's the proposition we'll be bringing to Australia before the end of 2017."
While he didn't reveal specifics of pricing or plans, Berroeta said Vodafone is eyeing the four million homes that are expected to be NBN ready by the end of next year, bringing competition to a market currently served by Telstra, Optus, TPG and a raft of other smaller resellers.
Australians can now expect more competition and better deals, Berroeta says, thanks to the arrival of another big player, much in the same way Vodafone shook up the mobile industry with offers like $5 flat-rate international roaming.