As reported before (here, here and here), Vodafone has bought New Zealand ISP ihug for NZ$41 million.
Rusell confirms the business will be run as two different brands. Immediate market impact will be the offering of mobility within the ihug portfolio.
Vodafone is preparing to offer the whole spectrum of communications, from mobile voice, moble data and for the heavy users the landline option.
No new bundles were announced yet. Of course lots of references to unbundling (no pun intended) and waiting for the Commerce Commision decisions. In short, nothing new.
Russell pointed out that this is not a new type of deal for Vodafone. He cited the example of FastWeb, an Italian ISP who provides Vodafone Italy with broadband bundles. This is from the press release a few weeks back:
Vodafone Italy and Fastweb, Italy's leading alternative broadband provider, have today announced in Milan a joint initiative which will enable Vodafone Italy to offer its customers broadband internet access. The service, to be branded Vodafone Casa Fastweb, will be launched shortly.
Vodafone Italy customers buying Vodafone Casa Fastweb will be able to use their normal Vodafone services on their mobiles, make mobile voice calls to fixed line phones at fixed rates whilst at home and have access to Fastweb's broadband network, which covers approximately half the population of Italy at speeds of up to 20Mbps.
In the UK Vodafone has signed an agreement with BT Wholesale to provide its customers in the UK with Vodafone-branded consumer fixed-line broadband services. This partnership enables Vodafone's customers to benefit from bundled packages of mobile and broadband services in the entire UK.
Vodafone Germany offers a complete mobile solution for the single-number based on user's home area, called Vodafone at Home. It's not clear yet if Vodafone New Zealand would be offering a similar solution but incorporating the ADSL offerings from ihug.
Vodafone Germany is introducing a new fixed service based on cellular technology, providing voice and data for home users. The Vodafone At Home Mobile service costs €20 per month and includes 1000 minutes of talk time. Users can designate their At Home Zone, and any calls placed from the user's mobile phone while inside this area will be discounted from the included minutes.
The allowance include calls to other Vodafone mobile phone or landlines within Germany. When applying for this plan the user will also receive a standard fixed network number to allow friends and family to place calls without extra cost.
When placing calls outside the At Home Zone users will be charged at standard per minute rates. Users can freely move between zones and the call will be charged based on where the user was when placing the call.
The At Home Zone can be located within a radius of up to 2 kilometres around the registered At Home address. This means that At Home customers can make mobile calls in the garden, in the café or anywhere in this area.
This could be a sensible way to go, with a solution similar to Orange Unique Phone. In that solution Orange mobile users roam freely at home with a mobile phone connected to the broadband connection wirelessly over Wi-Fi, and over to the mobile network when out and about.
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