It seems the expected merger of BT and Vodafone has taken another step forward. Currently BT have an MVNO agreement with Vodafone to provide BT Mobile and today Vodafone announced it has signed a deal with BT Wholesale to sell the telco’s fixed-line broadband services alongside its traditional mobile packages.
According to VNU, “Vodafone refused to comment on whether there would be a charge for the branded service or whether it would be provided free for mobile customers.”
I recently wrote about the need for Vodafone to find a fixed-line broadband partner and to quickly enter the quadplay market. I felt then, as I do now that BT is their best option, as both companies are facing stiff competition and heavy loses following the recent round of M&A and free broadband offers:
“Telefonica bought O2 after BT offloaded it. O2 then recently bought BE. Deutsche Telecom already owns T-Mobile but is facing pressure to open up its fixed line domestic market to foreign competition. This year Orange and Wanadoo, both owned by France Telecom, merged under the Orange brand. Will Telecom Italia buy Tiscali especially after the recent HomeChoice acquisition? And of course NTL and Virgin Mobile merged earlier this year. All of these acquired or merged companies have one thing in common. They are all looking to provide a quadplay offering – voice, video, data convergence plus mobile – to move beyond simply being fat communications access pipes.”
So if BT & Vodafone do ever decide to make their partnerships more formal, would the new company be called Bone – as in give the dog a bone – which is conveniently cockney rhyming slang for telephone ;-)