Nearly cancelled Vodafone Internet TV fairing well in competitive Spain

The launch of Vodafone’s Spanish internet TV service, which launched last November, was cancelled twice, due to problems with the service’s WiFi connection.

Vodafone Spain’s head of strategic projects Juan Latasa said the Vodafone Internet TV service, which enables users to send content from other devices within the home to the set-top box to view on the TV via WiFi had to overcome a number of obstacles before launch. “The project was cancelled twice. It was not easy to get to market but we’re very happy we finally did. One of the reasons we cancelled was problems with WiFi connections but we eventually solved it.” The company is planning to launch a streaming service to other devices via WiFi shortly, Latasa said.

Vodafone Internet TV offers a combination of linear channels, OTT services and widgets, as well as the ability to move media content around the home. Latasa said that despite launching into a competitive pay TV environment, Vodafone was able use its “last mover advantage” to offer an innovative and, crucially, cheap service. In a market where pay TV operators charge anything from €20 to €80 for services, Vodafone charges its broadband customers an additional €5 for its TV service. Latasa said the telco had worked hard to keep costs down, including sourcing set-top boxes for €100 that it sells to customers for €39. “The project is very simple for customers but very complex for us. We had to work hard to bring costs down but we actually invested very little to deploy this project,” he said.

While Latasa didn’t reveal customer numbers he claimed Vodafone Internet TV had more customers in its first four months than one of its rivals had four years after launching. He also said Vodafone would introduce DRM soon to enable it to offer premium VOD titles. It currently offers 25 free movies on-demand each month.