Vodafone: an unexpected surprise
Friday, November 29, 2013
Vodafone reveals crisp, consistent offerings for businesses globally
- acquired Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) and made progress in rationalizing and exploiting its purchase
- negotiated a $130bn divorce from Verizon (along with a handsome amount of increased investment; an additional £7bn or so, over the next 2 years)
- obtained approval to acquire Kabel Deutschland, which, as with CWW, brings fixed line capabilities and thus the potential to make triple, or even quadruple-play services available in Germany
- established Vodafone Group Enterprise (VGE); a unit specifically focused on supplying businesses with the global communications that they need – whether via mobile, fixed or satellite networks and across cloud computing/data hosting, M2M, and others
You might have argued that this is standard fare for any large telco. What was not standard, was the crispness, consistency and clarity with which Vodafone presented where it intended to go. From CEO Vittorio Colao’s broad picture down to Nick Jeffries (the CEO of VGE) and his many reports, it was clear that they, as an executive group, wished to satisfy what businesses – from the largest multi nationals though to SMEs – want from a blend of mobility and fixed networks, made available around the globe (in this context alone the CWW acquisition makes particular sense).
Vodafone is not unique in the offerings it discussed. It will have plenty of competition from traditional telcos, proffering what they believe to be not dissimilar portfolios. Where Vodafone does score well is that it understands most aspects of mobility and realises that mobile data will be a business differentiator, where its experience can deliver. As an intriguing extra, it seems that the sheer volume of anticipated data that businesses (and consumers) are already using, will mean that 2G networks will not be switched off (as many expected). Instead, 2G will continue to supply connectivity for years to come, despite their lower data rates (possibly suitable for certain forms of M2M). Indeed, in Germany, Vodafone proposes to invest more in 2G in the next 2 years, as well as in 3G and 4G.
[First published, Friday, November 29th, 2013: