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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Vodafone makes UK broadband move
Vodafone sign
The new service will be launched in the next few months
Mobile phone operator Vodafone has said it is to enter the UK fixed-line broadband market after striking a deal to use infrastructure from BT.

The contract means Vodafone does not have to invest in a fixed-line network of its own.

Vodafone said it hoped to launch the new service before the end of the year.

It said the move would enable its customers to benefit from bundled packages of mobile and broadband services nationwide.

Busy market

Vodafone said it hoped to offer a higher quality of service to customers.

Tim Yates, director of Vodafone's consumer unit, told the BBC that extensive research had pointed to strong consumer demand for better technical support for broadband connections.

He said Vodafone was developing its own support service in co-operation with BT, but refused to be drawn on details of the service.

A number of other mobile operators have begun offering bundled packages of services to their customers.

Both Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB have announced cut-price broadband packages.

But surviving in this marketplace is a challenge. Stiff competition in the sector prompted the UK's second-largest telecoms group, Cable & Wireless, to leave the retail broadband market recently.

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