Vodafone UK is said to be preparing to soft-launch its delayed pay-TV service as it looks to expand its product range with a view to better competing with the offerings of rivals such as BT. According to The Telegraph, citing unnamed sources, the British mobile network operator is likely to introduce its set-top box service next month on a limited basis. In a similar fashion to its fixed line broadband service, which it expanded nationwide in mid-2015, Vodafone UK is expected to initially offer its pay-TV service first to its own staff, and then to existing customers, before a full-scale launch in the early part of 2017.
However, it has been noted that the project, which has reportedly been beset by technical difficulties, could still see further delays. Indeed, it is understood that Vodafone UK had hoped to launch a pay-TV option back in November 2015, with the service – focused on internet streaming and on-demand options – based on technology developed by Kaltura. The report also notes that, while Vodafone UK already has a deal in place for Sky’s Now TV streaming service on smartphones, which will allow its pay-TV set-top box customers access to live football, it has not yet been able to strike a deal with BT for access to BT Sport.