Guilhem Poussot, Head of Quad-Play at Vodafone UK, discusses the operator’s recent return to the retail fixed broadband market
Eurocomms.com: You acquired Cable and Wireless in 2012. Why has it taken three years to launch this new service?
Guilhem Poussot: We’ve been offering broadband to business customers for quite some time already; in fact, we already had around 60,000 business customers using the service when we launched for consumers.
We also needed to ensure that we could reach as many customers as possible and that it was the right time to launch a consumer service. We believe that time is now.
At present, your offering seems fairly basic. What’s your USP?
We offer great rates for existing customers, it’s an unlimited offer with plenty of extras such as free calls for Red customers and we give customers so much more control over what they can do with their broadband.
You offer an Easy Switching service that takes responsibility away from the customer. Tell us the thinking behind this…
One of the biggest barriers to moving providers is that it just seems like too difficult, too disruptive and too involved. We wanted to take all the hassle away.
It means that all the customer needs to do is make one call to us. We take care of the rest.
You’re planning to launch a TV offering later this year. What can you tell us about this?
We’ve already seen that customers value content – our 4G content partnerships demonstrate that.
When we launched 4G we not only provided the network but a reason to use it. It’s a good lesson to transfer into a wider TV service.
Do you have any potential partners lined up for your TV service?
No comment! You’ll have to wait and see!
What are the major challenges you’ve faced in developing your fixed broadband offering?
There are always challenges when bringing new products to market.
For us it was about ensuring that we got the customer experience right – from the best consumer router and companion app, to the service and support model and through to the easy switching offer.
Is Cable & Wireless’ infrastructure future-proof insofar in that it will be able to compete in the long-term?
We’re investing £1 billion this year alone in our network and services, so we believe we’ll remain highly competitive.
Do you see the growth of new, pure fibre players such as CityFibre as a threat?
Customers buy a deal – a combination of price as well as services. We think we have a compelling offer.
We’ve more than 30 years’ experience in providing mobile coverage and we’re applying all that knowhow to bring it to bear in our broadband offer.
The huge popularity of OTT services has shown us that young customers in particular like to pick and choose services from different providers. Being the case, do you think quad-pay is the right strategy to follow?
Absolutely. Particularly when you integrate services.
For example, we already provide one bill for both mobile and broadband services. We’ll look to integrate even more services in the future.