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Netflix, Vodafone Partner for Free Streaming Service

22 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Vodafone has entered into a partnership with Netflix that will grant the U.K. telecom giant’s mobile broadband subscribers free access to six-months of video streaming service.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For Netflix, which offers free service trials up to 30 days depending on the promotion, the agreement marks the longest trial period for third-party consumers. It also underlines Netflix’s desire to expand its presence across cable and mobile networks.

The SVOD service last year inked deals with Virgin Media in the United Kingdom and Sweden's Con Hem enabling their subs to access Netflix with a separate subscription. Netflix expanded its prowess in the U.S. through similar piggyback deals with regional cablers.

“This partnership with Vodafone further enhances that freedom to watch while on the go,” Bill Holmes, head of business development at Netflix, said in a statement.

For Vodafone, the promotion underscores ongoing rollout of ultrafast 4G service as part of almost $1.7 billion it is spending on network and service upgrades across the U.K. this year.

Of course there are restrictions. The deal is available only to subscribers of Vodafone’s Red 4G plan, which starts at $44 a month. Vodafone is also offering Red subs the options of six months free Sky Sports (from BSkyB) or Spotify music streaming service.

“With 4G, speed is just the start: it’s what you can do with it that’s really exciting. We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix so that our Red 4G customers can enjoy their favorite TV programs and films when out and about,” Cindy Rose, consumer director Vodafone U.K., said in a statement.

Interestingly, the promotion comes as Vodafone said it would increase subscribers’ monthly bills by as much as 10% — beginning June 28 — if they exceed their current data caps.

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