The telco plans to start offering fixed broadband services to small businesses and consumers before the end of the year.
Vodafone is becoming an NBN RSP (retail service provider) so it can sell fixed broadband alongside its existing mobile services.
The company's intention to move in that direction was first revealed last October, but Vodafone is now asking for expressions of interest in the new NBN services.
“We want to make sure our customers have the freedom and choice to stay connected the way they want - at home, at work or on the go,” said Vodafone general manager of fixed, Matthew Lobb.
“Australians will soon be able to interchangeably use their mobile and fixed broadband to stream music and video, send messages, make purchases, or grow their business.
“It’s always Vodafone’s desire to push the status quo when looking at new ways to meet customer needs, and the launch of fixed broadband services will be no different.”
Lobb's use of the word "interchangeably" and the phrase "push the status quo" could be interpreted as a hint that customers will be able to draw from the same monthly data quota for their fixed and mobile connections. However, the big difference between the marginal cost of fixed and mobile data makes that unlikely. For example, going from 10GB to 20GB of mobile data with Vodafone costs an extra $15 per month. Yet the difference between iiNet's 250GB and unlimited NBN plans is just $10.
Still, such a change would certainly shake up the market.
Potential customers who lodge expressions of interest will be the first to know where and when fixed services will be available, Lobb said. “For those customers who pre-register with us, we’ll get in touch directly in the lead up to launch to find out more about their fixed broadband needs and how we can provide them with the best solution."
He went on to say that “Despite the potential of the NBN, many consumers have told us that they are unhappy with their existing fixed broadband provider. They are frustrated by the poor connection experience, confused about their options, and when things go wrong they feel they are left in the lurch.
“Vodafone’s aim is to provide exceptional customer service and care to ensure the best possible experience for all of our customers.
“Just as Vodafone has done for mobile, we will be bringing simplicity to our fixed broadband plans and a great customer experience to match.”