• More evidence emerges of agitation among smaller European OpCos for the convergence platform gained by larger peers.
  • Tender will be a test of OpCo attitudes towards Group IPTV middleware.

Vodafone Czech Republic (VfCZ) is set to become the latest OpCo to launch Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services, according to local media reports.

News portal DigiZone cited unnamed sources as claiming that VfCZ plans to launch the service by end-2018 and is organising a closed tender of at least five IPTV platform suppliers. The OpCo did not confirm the report.

In-house or out?

Speculation over VfCZ’s potential enabler partners is rife, and reflective of the ongoing fragmented nature of Vodafone’s acquisition-based TV platform ecosystem, despite repeated expressions of intent to consolidate it (Vodafonewatch, passim).

The logical choice (and perhaps Vodafone’s preferred option) would be the Group’s own TV Hub in Portugal, which was set up in 2016 to provide a low-touch TV offering to OpCos moving into the video services market (Vodafonewatch, #149). It is believed to be supported by Ericsson, which is also a TV platform provider to Vodafone Ireland and Vodafone Portugal.

Also said to be in the mix, however, is the GigaTV platform developed by Vodafone Germany and Cisco Systems and launched in the German market in February 2017 (Vodafonewatch, #153).

Others include the interactive television platform from Slovenia-based Beenius and Sledovani TV, which has collaborated with VfCZ on the OpCo’s mobile TV service since 2015.

DigiZone also pointed to TiVo as a possible partner. The US platform provider supports Vodafone Spain’s IPTV service and has repeatedly expressed hopes of a wider Group relationship (Vodafonewatch, passim).

Further, potential local Czech suppliers include:

  • Interactive TV platform provider nangu.TV, which supports the IPTV services of VfCZ’s rivals O2 Czech Republic and T-Mobile Czech Republic.
  • AIM and Smart Comp, which are behind the Czech IPTV platform Kuki.
  • 4NET.TV, which supports cableco Digi TV’s Digi2Go service.
  • The Lepší.TV platform from goNET.

However, none of the domestic suppliers appears to have expressed interest in participating in the VfCZ tender, according to DigiZone.

Me too

  • Reports of a coming IPTV launch by VfCZ add a further dimension to signs of recent agitation by Vodafone’s central and eastern European OpCos for a better platform for convergence, akin with the likes of Vodafone Germany and Vodafone Spain. This has been most obviously manifested in Vodafone’s interest in filling out the gaps in its regional wireline footprint through a multi-country deal with Liberty Global, potentially covering both the Czech Republic and Hungary and Romania (Vodafonewatch, #161-#163). VfCZ is presumably seeking to position its IPTV offering as a DSL- and fibre-based sister service to UPC Czech Republic’s own Horizon TV platform.

Vodafone currently offers TV services in nine markets, with Vodafone Hutchison Australia announcing the launch of Vodafone TV in March 2018 (see separate report). The more established TV markets include Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Among these markets, Portugal is the only territory where it has gained substantial traction for a ‘homegrown’ offering, as opposed to piggybacking on acquisitions such as Hellas Online (Greece), Kabel Deutschland (Germany), or ONO (Spain). Vodafone New Zealand recently confirmed plans to launch TV services under the Vodafone TV brand (Vodafonewatch, #159).

Image: Jakob Owens / Unsplash.

Table of Contents

Executive brief

Group

Deals

Wind confirms joint play with Vodafone for Forthnet [p6]

  • Risk of dysfunction

Strategy

Ten years on, Colao nears EUR100bn cash payout milestone [p8]

  • The Faustian cost of meeting shareholder demands
  • Figure 1: Selected European operator comparison, dividends declared FY08-18
  • Figure 2: Vodafone dividend trend versus European operator rivals, FY08-18 (excluding 2014 Verzion Wireless stake sale)

People

  • Table 1: People movement highlights

Group Commercial, Strategy & Operations

Final withdrawal looms for Vodafone Wallet [p13]

  • Overshadowed by M-PESA

Group Technology

Vodafone to set sail with TIP-backed Voyager [p15]

  • Why is Voyager important?
  • Voyager shipmates

Europe Region

Region

NB-IoT progress in Czech Republic, Germany, Italy [p17]

  • Ruhr ready
  • Czech this out
  • Table 2: Vodafone on the NB-IoT trail: Group highlights, April 2018

Czech Republic

VfCZ said to be targeting Christmas IPTV move [p22]

  • In-house or out?
  • Me too

Germany

Huawei wheels out again C-V2X work with VfD, Bosch [p24]

  • Shifting gears

Greece

EETT to press on with 3.4GHz-3.8GHz auction [p25]

  • Table 3: Vodafone’s Europe spectrum agenda, 2018-2019
  • Rare good news amid 3.5GHz crunch

Portugal

Tensions continue over Altice’s Media Capital plan [p27]

  • Vaz confident

Spain

Vodafone targets EU for broadband aid [p28]

  • Network virtualisation on agenda

UK

VfUK preps 5G with biggest 3.4GHz spend [p29]

  • Table 4: Hey, where are the big spenders?
  • 3.5GHz seen as key
  • Auction nitty-gritty
  • Table 5: The lay of the bands. Spectrum breakdown after 2.3GHz/3.4GHz auction (MHz)
  • Figure 3: Shares of overall UK spectrum, before and after 2.3GHz/3.4GHz auction (%, total MHz)
  • Figure 4: Shares of ‘immediately useable’ UK spectrum, post 2.3GHz/3.4GHz auction
  • Oh my, O2

VfUK faces backlash over Manchester hotline failure [p32]

  • NMAT: what went wrong

Africa, Middle East & Asia-Pacific Region

Egypt

Telecom Egypt continues to bat off VfEg exit talk [p35]

  • An ongoing saga

India

Idea-VfIn seeks fine balance with exec appointments [p36]

  • Tech team mix raises harmony question

YOU Broadband ups spend via vendor financing [p38]

  • Integration seemingly progressing, but competitive threats rising

New Zealand

VfNZ showcases 5G interest [p39]

  • VfNZ hoping 5G hits home

Vodacom Group

Safaricom tasks Ericsson with NOC revamp [p40]

Intelsat buddies with Nigerian unit [p41]

  • Safaricom making Nigerian moves, too

Further reading

Index

Index

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 21, 24

A

Accenture 11, 12
Aditya Birla Group 36
– Idea Cellular 36, 37, 38
ADVA Optical Networking 15
Africa 11, 34, 38, 40, 41
– Egypt 8, 12, 35
– Kenya 40
– Nigeria 41
– North Africa 8
– South Africa 11, 21, 38, 39, 41
– – Competition Commission 37
– Sub-Sahara 40, 41
Airspan Networks 31
Altice Group 27
Amazon.com Inc. 19, 23
– Amazon Web Services 19, 23
American Tower Corp. 37
Americas
– Canada 8
– Latin America 10
– USA 8, 19, 29
Apple 13, 30
Asia-Pacific 8, 10, 29
– Australia 36, 40
– – National Broadband Network (NBN) 36
– China 37
– Fiji
– – Commerce Commission 7
– India 12, 36, 37, 38, 39
– – Department of Telecommunications (DoT) 37
– Malaysia 8
– New Zealand 7, 39, 40
– – Commerce Commission (New Zealand) 7
– Thailand 8
Avaya 19
Axel Springer AG 10
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)
– India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 36, 37, 38

B

BC Partners
– Intelsat Ltd 41
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) 38
Bharti Group 37, 38
– Airtel 37, 38
– – Bharti Infratel 37
– Indus Towers 37
Bosch Group, The 24
BT Group 8, 32, 40
– Openreach 32
Bulldog, UK 12

C

CeBIT 20
Cisco Systems 10, 19, 22
CityFibre 32
Cyprus Telecommunications Authority
– CytaHellas 7

D

Dell 19
Deutsche Bahn 18, 20
Deutsche Telekom 6, 7, 8, 25, 39
– Europe
– – Czech Republic 17, 22
– – Greece (see OTE) 7
– – UK (EE) 29, 30, 31
– Germany 18
– Investments
– – OTE (see separate) 7, 25
DHL Worldwide Express 18, 20
DIEHL Metering 18, 20

E

eBay 11
– PayPal 13
EE (see DT, FT) 29, 30, 31
EMC 19
– VMware 19
Ericsson 10, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 29, 40
Essar Group
– Essar Communications
– – Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd (yu/ETK/Econet Wireless Kenya) 23
Etisalat 41
Europe 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 29, 41
– Albania 25
– Central Europe 10
– Czech Republic 17, 19, 22, 23, 25
– Finland 39
– Germany 6, 8, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
– – ARD 18
– – Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 18
– – Länder
– – – Bavaria (Munich) 18
– – – North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 18, 20, 21
– Greece 6, 23, 25
– – Hellenic Telecoms and Post Commission (EETT) 25
– Hungary 23, 25
– Ireland 19, 23, 31
– Italy 8, 9, 17, 20, 23
– Luxembourg 12
– Netherlands 6, 19, 23, 25, 27, 38
– Portugal 21, 22, 23, 27
– – ANACOM 27
– – Competition Authority (AdC) 27
– Romania 23, 25
– Slovenia 22
– Spain 11, 17, 20, 22, 23, 27, 28
– Sweden 10
– Switzerland 11
– United Kingdom (UK) 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 38
– – Office of Communications (Ofcom) 29, 30, 31
European Union 18, 19, 28
– European Commission 19

F

Facebook 15, 39
Formula One 19
Forthnet 6, 7

G

Gemalto NV 13, 21
Goldman Sachs 29
Google 22, 36
– Android 36
– Android Market 40
– YouTube 23, 36
GSM Association (GSMA)
– Mobile World Congress 23

H

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 19, 40
Huawei Technologies 10, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28
Hutchison Whampoa 38
– HTIL 38
– Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 11, 21, 23, 36, 38

I

IBM 19
Indus Towers 37
Institute of Telecommunications Professionals 12
Intel 21, 39
Invitation Digital 13
IOL 27

J

Juniper Networks 19

L

Largo Ltd
– WIND Hellas 6
Liberty Global 6, 12, 23
– UPC Germany GmbH
– – Unitymedia GmbH 6
– Virgin Media 12
– Ziggo 19
LinkedIn Corp. 11

M

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) 38
Market segments
– Contactless payment (NFC) 13
– Network-sharing 21
– Over-the-top (OTT) 13
– Value-added services (VAS) 35, 39
– Voice 19
MasterCard 13
MediaTek Inc. 21
Microsoft 10, 11, 19, 21, 40
Middle East 8, 10
– Dubai 7
– Egypt 8, 12, 35
– Kuwait 8
– Qatar 8
– – Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development 8

N

Netflix Inc. 36
Neul 21
Nokia 12, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 39
Nokia Solutions & Networks 12

O

OMV Aktiengesellschaft 20
Orange
– Orange 8, 11, 12, 28
– Spain 11, 28
– UK (see EE) 29, 30, 31
OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 7
– Cosmote 7
– – Greece 7

P

Pacific Spectrum Holdings Limited 31
Panasonic 18, 20
Petrom, Romania 20
Plural 27
Promotora de Informaciones, S.A. (Grupo PRISA) 27
– Media Capital 27
– – Televisão Independente (TVI) 27

Q

Qatar Foundation Consortium 8
Qualcomm 12, 21, 30

R

RWE AG 20

S

Safaricom 11, 40, 41
– M-PESA 13
Samsung 21, 30
SAP 19, 39
Sequans Communications 21
Sky Network Television 7
SoftBank Corp. 12
Spreadtrum Communications Inc. 21

T

Techem 18, 20
Technology
– 3G 25, 29, 39
– – Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)
– – – MIMO 29
– 4G 17, 20, 23, 25, 30, 35
– – Long Term Evolution (LTE) 17, 23, 38
– 5G 11, 17, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, 39
– Billing 12
– Cloud computing 19, 21, 28, 33, 40
– DSL 23
– Fibre 7, 21, 23, 28, 32, 38
– – FTTP 32
– IP 15, 22, 33
– IPTV 22, 23
– iTV 22
– Linux 15
– M2M 20
– Mobile TV 22
– Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 38
– NOC 40
– OSS 40
– PC 10
– RAN 15
– R&D 25
– RF 19
– SIM 19, 21
– Smartphone 30
– Spectrum 18, 25, 29, 30, 31
– – 700 MHz 25, 30
– – 800 MHz 18, 20, 25, 30
– – 900 MHz 21, 30
– – 1800 MHz 25, 30
– – 2100 MHz 25, 30
– – 2600 MHz 25, 30
– – 3500 MHz 25, 29, 39
– – Digital dividend 25
– Tablet 23
– VoIP 39
Tele2 10
Telecom Egypt 35
Telecom Infra Project 15
Telefónica Group 8, 10, 11, 25, 28, 29, 31
– Europe 17, 22, 29, 30, 31
– – España 28
– – UK 10, 29, 31
Telit 21
Telstra 36, 40
TiVo 22
TVI 27
Twenty-First Century Fox 19

U

u-blox 21
United Internet 6
UPC 23

V

Veolia Environnement SA 19, 20
Verizon Communications 8, 10
– Verizon Wireless 8, 9
Videocon Industires Ltd
– Datacom Solutions Pvt Ltd 38
Visa 13
Vocus Communications 7
Vodacom Group 11, 21, 38, 39, 40, 41
– Group 11, 40
– Lesotho 40
– South Africa 11, 21, 38, 39, 41
– Tanzania 11
– Vodacom Business 11, 40, 41
Vodafone
– Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 34, 37, 38
– – Africa 11, 34, 38, 40, 41
– – Asia 10, 29
– – Australia 36, 40
– – – VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 36
– – Egypt 8, 12, 35
– – India 12, 36, 37, 38, 39
– – – Indus Towers 37
– – Kenya (see Safaricom) 11, 40, 41
– – Middle East 8, 10
– – New Zealand 7, 11, 21, 23, 38, 39, 40
– – – TelstraClear 7
– – Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 8, 12, 35
– – South Africa (see Vodacom) 11, 21, 38, 39, 40, 41
– Board of Directors
– – Dopfner, Dr. Mathias 10
– Europe Region 16, 25
– – Albania 25
– – Cable & Wireless Worldwide 33
– – Czech Republic 11, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25
– – Germany 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
– – – KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 18, 23
– – Greece 6, 7, 20, 23, 25
– – – Hellas On Line (HOL) 7, 23
– – – Zelitron 20
– – Hungary 11, 23, 25
– – Ireland 11, 19, 20, 22, 23, 31
– – Italy 8, 9, 11, 13, 17, 20, 23, 39
– – Malta 25
– – Netherlands 6, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 38
– – – VodafoneZiggo 6, 12, 13, 19
– – Portugal 10, 21, 22, 23, 27
– – Romania 20, 23, 25
– – Spain 11, 13, 17, 20, 22, 23, 27, 28
– – – Grupo Corporativo Ono (ONO) 23
– – UK 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 38
– Executives
– – Al Azhary, Rasha 12
– – Ametsreiter, Hannes 18
– – Attanasio, Sandro 11
– – Baird, Tony 39
– – Bernath, Claudia 11
– – Colao, Vittorio 8, 9, 25, 29
– – Cooper, Gary 10
– – Dawar, Manish 36
– – Ehlen, Ingo 11
– – El Ayouti, Marwa 12
– – Ermert, Nils 10
– – Field, Jacqui 10
– – Gelencser, Zoltan 11
– – Gliddon, Nick 37, 38
– – Grover, Vikas 12
– – Jeffery, Nick 32
– – Kilinc, Tanja 11
– – Kolade, Lanre 41
– – Nair, Kavita 37
– – Nelson, Amanda 11
– – Petty, Scott 10
– – Reiter, Joakim 10
– – Rutherford, Jonathan 11
– – Schveninger, Catalina 10
– – Sharma, Balesh 36
– – Shields, Justin 10
– – Sood, Sunil 37
– – Spink, Martin 10
– – Stanners, Russell 7, 39
– – Tait, Jamie 10
– – Vishant, Vora 37
– – Weissbrich, Guido 11, 24
– – Yildizli, Ara 11
– – Zarkalis, Nassos 6
– Ex-executives
– – Amzallag, David 12
– – Deschanel, Cyril 10
– – Evans, Mark 31
– – Jhamb, Vivek 12
– – Morrow, Bill 36
– – Pol, Chuck 12
– – Sarin, Arun 9
– Group 10, 11
– – Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 12
– – Headquarters 29
– – Partner Markets 8, 10, 12
– – – Kenya (Safaricom) 11, 40, 41
– – – Thailand (TrueMove) 8
– – Strategy
– – – Supermobile 9
– – Vodafone Carrier Services 12
– – Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 10
– – Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 10, 11, 12
– – – Tomorrow Street 12
– Investments & Associates
– – Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 8, 9
– Products
– – Business 37, 38, 39
– – GigaTV 18, 22
– – Liberty (Malta) 6, 12, 23
– – My Vodafone 19
– – Red 19
– – Vodafone TV 23, 36
– Project Spring 9
Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 8, 12, 35

Z

Zain (MTC) 8

About

About Vodafonewatch

Report: #164
Published: April 2018
Next report: May 2018
For more information visit: Vodafonewatch