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Vodafone Germany to launch new advanced TV service in February

Hannes Ametsreiter

Hannes Ametsreiter

Vodafone Germany is to launch a new advanced TV platform, GigaTV, in February. The platform, which will integrate linear TV, on-demand video and apps from streaming services as well as multiscreen access to content via smartphones and tablets, will be available over the former Kabel Deutschland cable network.

Vodafone Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter told Bild magazine that the service would offer access to 55 on-demand portals as well as a video library of 5,000 movie titles, access to music service Deezer, the Maxdome SVOD service and Sky’s pay TV services.

The GigaTV box will include a 1 TB hard drive and will be able to play Ultra HD TV content. Ametsreiter said that the service would also include universal search.

GigaTV with a set-top box will be available exclusively on cable for €14.99 a month, but an app-only variant, providing TV streams to multiscreen devices, will also be available for €9.99. Google Cast and Apple Airplay functionality is not yet available.

Both variants will allow users to receive up to three streams simultaneously.

HD services will cost an additional €9.99, with a premium package available for €19.99.

According to Bild, Vodafone plans to introduce new features including the ability to control the service via Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant.

The news came as Vodafone posted its Q3 numbers globally. In a quarter where its earnings were hit by mobile price competition in India and a tough UK market, Vodafone grew its global TV customer base by 100,000 in the course of the three months to December to reach 9.7 million customers. Overall, the fixed and mobile operators has 14.7 fixed broadband customers with 417,000 added over the quarter, including 339,000 in Europe, of which 76% were on-net customers.

In Germany, Vodafone had 7.8 million TV customers at the end of December.  Fixed-network revenue grew by 4.8% in the third quarter and the company had 110,000 broadband customers, including 77,000 cable customers.

In Spain, TV customers numbered 1.3 million at the end of the quarter. The group’s integrated fixed, mobile and TV offering, Vodafone One, had 2.1 million customers at the end of the period, up from 1.1 million a year previously. Fixed broadband net additions numbered 93,000.

Intense competition in India and pressure in the UK market contributed to an overall 3.9% in the group’s revenue in the quarter to €13.7 billion.

“Our overall performance in Europe and Africa remained strong during the third quarter, reflecting good execution. In Europe, service revenue growth continued, led by Italy, Germany and Spain. Mobile contract ARPU continued to stabilise, reflecting the successful adoption of our ‘more-for-more’ propositions, while we remain Europe’s fastest growing broadband company, illustrating our effective convergence strategy. In the UK we have made good progress in improving customer service but face heightened price competition in Enterprise,” said CEO Vittorio Colao.

“In AMAP [Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacifc], our strong organic performance in South Africa and Turkey was partially offset by India, where the sector is affected by free services from the new entrant. We anticipate intense competitive pressure in India in the fourth quarter and are taking a series of commercial actions, including the extension of 4G services to 17 leading circles. As announced earlier this week, we have also entered discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all-share merger of Vodafone India and Idea. We are reconfirming our guidance for the year and are confident that we will sustain our commercial momentum.”