Okay, I can now finally own up to what I’ve been doing for the past six months.
I seldom mention work, but some things need a modicum of exposure here, especially when they have this big an impact in my life as a whole.
It’s now public. Vodafone Portugal is launching a fixed broadband ADSL2+ service atop its own network, with the best pricing on the market and a few innovative twists.
For starters, we bypass the usual three to four weeks’ delay associated with ADSL unbundling by providing an ‘instant activation’ offering to our customers that lets them walk out the door with an HSDPA modem that they can use for free1 until their line is activated.
And that’s not the only neat thing we do. I know that most people don’t really see Vodafone as a fixed operator (or one having a significant presence on the fixed market), but the truth is that:
- The Portuguese operation has run a very healthy fixed data and voice business for quite a few years now (which I know from the inside out, since the data side of it came out of the ISP venture I joined nine years ago).
- We were the first mobile operator in Vodafone Group to launch a fixed broadband offering atop our own ULL infrastructure, which was built from the ground up in record time (our colleagues over at Arcor are still an independent operation).
So yes, we’ve always had a sizeable fixed network infrastructure (what, you think mobile networks work without one?), and it’s been expanding tremendously in the past few years – which may not have been entirely obvious to the man in the street, but has been happening nonetheless.
What we didn’t have, despite an almost overwhelming 3G coverage, was our own local loop access, which opens entirely new opportunities for pursuing the Group’s “Mobile Plus” convergence strategy.
HSDPA is (and always will be) at the core of our data offerings, but now we have “new” options to deliver broadband connectivity, and, of course, new opportunities to deliver different services.
As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
And for having been a part of that, and for the way in which we managed to pull it all together, I have to thank my former teammates in Engineering and the team I was asked to join on the Marketing side to make this a reality.
It’s been one amazing ride.
And, of course, it will have all sorts of fun twists in the near future.
1 Subject to a Fair Use Policy.
Update: we’ve just gotten a short write-up in Forbes. Lots of local coverage, too.