Vodafone is expanding its unified comms strategy with plans to add pay-TV to the mix.
Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s chief executive, said the company was planning to introduce “unified services” across Europe in coming years.
The move is part of a wider strategy to combat declining consumer revenues.
The expansion of its unified comms strategy across Europe raised speculation that the operator may bid for German cable operator Kabel Deutschland, estimated to be worth £9bn.
Speaking at MWC this week, Colao said: ‘We are going to deploy, country by country, unified services across Europe.’ The company already offers broadband and TV packages in some European territories in addition to its core mobile offering.
Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa’s telecoms unit, said the move could benefit Vodafone. He said: 'Strategically it makes a lot of sense. In the years ahead we can expect a reasonable level of consolidation between television and mobile companies. There is evidence to suggest that when you do that, customers are more loyal.'
That consolidation is reflected in the news earlier this month that US cable TV giant Liberty Global is set to buy Virgin Media.
In the UK, Colao said the major opportunity for new services in the UK would be in expanding its broadband for business offering, rather than launching new consumer services.
He said: ‘For the time being the level of competition on pricing in the UK is so high that each individual segment already has pretty low tariffs.’
Colao would not comment on a potential bid for the German cable firm, adding that he looks at tens of potential acquisition targets a year.
Referring to the EU’s aim to create a regional telecoms market, Colao said he was to meet the commission’s digital agenda head, Neelie Kroes, in a meeting tomorrow.
Colao said more acquisitions will make Europe’s telecommunications companies more competitive and improve revenue.
He said he plans to speak with Kroes about consolidation, the rules around spectrum allocation and the economics of rolling out faster, fourth-generation networks.
'It’s obvious to any chief executive who works in the telecom business, Europe has a fantastic opportunity,’ he added.