Voda prepares for O2 fixed drive


O2 is to launch a three-month free line rental deal in January as it pushes its fixed proposition hard in the early part of its financial year, Mobile News understands. O2 recently told key partners its aims to be the number three fixed line operator in the UK, behind BT and Cable & Wireless.

An O2 spokesperson said: “We will be announcing a number of offers and initiatives early in the New Year and these will be communicated with our Partners shortly. We have made it clear we believe there is a great opportunity for growth in this area.”

Vodafone, which enters its final financial quarter in January, is bracing itself for O2’s push into the fixed line market. It has cut upgrade commissions and stopped volume bonuses on new numbers ahead of O2’s Q1 attack, so it can free up cash to counter it. The money on numbers ported from rivals remains good.

Dealers complained last week Vodafone’s response in the market was too slow still, and that O2’s aggressive strike will again catch them napping.

Meanwhile, Vodafone’s distribution arm, Yes Telecom is also launching a new version of its ‘Rising Stars’ dealer classification programme to encourage business. The programme is in addition to Vodafone’s recently re-evaluated Gold Partner programme consisting of 40 top dealers. The new programme is designed to help dealers compete for a place in the top 40 which will again be evaluated in April.