The 10 year dispute
BT explained this week that any attempt to separate it from Openreach could lead to a legal dispute. BT boss Gavin Patterson has already said that any legal action would cut investment into the company, affecting the various services they provide to networks and consumers.
BT have so far taken a combative position in the Openreach debate, which highlights how important the services division is to the Group. Ofcom have been very much in the spotlight with this debate, and the issue of a legal dispute questions the regulatory system currently operating in the UK.
The spotlight will be on Ofcom and CMA over this issue and will test the regulatory framework that is currently in place.
Vodafone’s MVNO moves
TalkTalk said this week that Vodafone were planning the exit the MVNO market. It still remains unclear why such claims were made, but Vodafone’s recent actions suggests that a market exit is not on the cards. Vodafone only support two MVNOs, compared to EE and O2, who support at least 27 between them.
While this may be a sign of a network not wholeheartedly invested in the MVNO market, Vodafone may suggest that it’s about quality over quantity. The network has made some investments into its MVNOs, through its recent partnership with Digitalk to enable new-comers to standout in the market. The fact that the Vodafone is encouraging differentiation on its networks shows the calibre of MVNO it is looking for.
Vodafone claimed that it has also made it easier for newcomers to join, making the network a more attractive proposition. While the network may not have invested heavily in the MVNO space previously, this should not be misconstrued as an exit. Vodafone are taking steps in the right direction by putting in place a strategy to help their MVNOs stand out in a very competitive marketplace.
A successful MVNO may be enough to encourage others to join the network and the focus should not be on Vodafone’s exit, but rather on its renewed market assault.