Vodafone UK has surprised the marked today by announcing VWater,
marking its first foray into the supply and delivery of more traditional
commodity services. This builds on their landmark mast sharing agreement with
O2 and will see Vodafone grow to become a dominant player in the water industry if they can convert enough customers.
The offering comes with multiple contract options including –
as you might expect – a pay as you go deal. Contracts start at £45/month for
100 megacups which sounds like good value. The challenge will be explaining
precisely what a “megacup” means to consumers. The Vodafone release this
morning reckons that 100 should be enough for a family of four for about one
If you’re already a Vodafone Red customer then you will
qualify for their VWater Booster plan – double the megacups for an extra
£5/month. Useful if you tend to take a lot of baths whilst steaming Netflix on
4G I suppose. Or if you have a swimming pool.
It’s fair to say that I was pretty surprised by the news – especially
as I thought they were focusing more on “Quad” play (eg TV as well) as opposed
to something as mundane as the supply of water services.
However I can see the logic. Given the way the mobile
operator marketplace is having to adjust to the new kings in town (Apple,
Google) it makes sense to diversify. Plus you can guarantee that every contract
customer already buys water services from someone so as long as Vodafone can
convert a fair chunk they should have a good base of revenue to challenge the
newer entrants to the mobile world.
There’s no news yet on when VWater services will be available
yet – the release just says VWater will launch in the South of Engand during Q3 this year. Absolutely unbelievable!