Vodafone Australia is set to join the broadband market in 2017 as the rollout of the national broadband network gathers pace, and the mobile operator enjoys solid earnings growth.
Chief executive Ianki Berroeta said the company – a 50/50 joint venture between Vodafone Group and Hutchison Telecommunications Australia – is “getting closer” to launching fixed broadband services.
“NBN brings a fantastic platform for us to compliment our mobile services with broadband for our customers and that is an area that also we’ll put a lot of our effort during the year,” he said.
The current broadband market is dominated by Telstra, TPG Telecom and Optus, and several companies, including no-frills mobile operator Amaysim, have flagged entering the fray as the NBN’s reach grows.
“There is a deep frustration from broadband consumers about the service they’re receiving from their existing internet service provider, and we want to change the game,” Mr Berroeta said.
Vodafone Australia’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation (EBITDA) rose 12 per cent to $912 million in 2016 as its multi-billion dollar network investment continued to pay off.
Growth was driven largely by a 2.3 per cent rise in customers to 5.56 million, higher average revenue per user and continued cost management, chief financial officer James Marsh said.
The telco made a loss of $242 million, due to the depreciation of its multi-billion dollar network investment in recent years.
“We are now managing a business that is sustainable, that is a business that is giving shareholders a lot of confidence,” Mr Berroeta said.
“It’s a non-issue for us so we are quite happy that our financials are now fairly stronger than they have been in many, many moons.”