Vodafone has expanded the European footprint of its converged fixed and mobile voice service with the launch of Vodafone OneNet into the UK market.
Vodafone has already rolled out the service in Italy and the Czech Republic.
The UK service is based on a partnership with BT, enabling Vodafone to provide fixed line communications under a managed services agreement.
Under the five-year deal, BT Wholesale will provide IP-enabled voice and broadband as a dedicated business-ready managed service to Vodafone UK, delivering a fixed-line solution that ensures nationwide coverage to complement Vodafone's existing mobile business services.
Vodafone OneNet customers will receive a national broadband service at the highest speeds available through the new service in their area with the ability to upgrade to faster speeds as they become available.
Vodafone says SMEs can save up to 20% on their communications costs with the service which offers a single number for landline and mobile phones, one voicemail for all fixed and mobile messages, one contract and a single point of contact.
The service follows the launch Vodafone One, which was launched in June to the larger corporate sector.
The announcement comes as market analysts digest the impact on the Orange and T-Mobile merger which will render Vodafone - once the market leader - in third position.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told the FT that for Vodafone, “with its global headquarters based in the UK, this will be a bitter pill to swallow.”
Analysts suggest that the carrier may look at driving further consolidation itself with a potential hook-up with Hutchison Whampoa-owned 3, which is not out of the question as it would follow in the footsteps of the current merger underway between the two in the Australian market.
Vodafone head of UK business Guy Laurence, said in a staff email on Tuesday that the Vodafone had a new opportunity as Orange UK and T-Mobile UK would be distracted by the merger.
“I’ve always said that we need to approach the UK market with a challenger spirit – so we will continue to execute our strategy with speed, simplicity and trust to outperform our competitors,” he said.