Vodafone Group plc, whose home division is Vodafone UK, holds the 2nd position when it comes to all the mobile telecommunications companies in the world in more ways than one. Only one other company is above Vodafone i.e. China Mobile which is partly a result of the highly populated market that it operates in. Vodafone is the second largest in the world in terms of both, the number of subscribers and overall revenue.
Considering the leading position of the company, it’s no surprise that it directly operates in 21 different markets in the world and indirectly has a hand in 40 more. For instance, apart from being listed on the London stock exchange and operating the prestigious Vodafone UK, Vodafone has a presence in rest of Europe, Asia – Pacific, and The Americas. If you’re interested in knowing about the other key divisions of Vodafone Group, consider the following.
While Vodafone may hold the second spot when it comes to the largest mobile telecommunication companies in the world, in the United Kingdom, it is overshadowed by EE and O2. Vodafone UK’s subscribership as of the end of the last fiscal was at 19.5 million. Vodafone is one of the largest mobile network service providers in the country in terms of the number of its stores. Vodafone boasts of 365 Vodafone stores in the UK.
Apart from its innovative marketing gimmicks such as Vodafone VIP and Rewardz, Vodafone has been in the news because of two reasons. The first was because they separated data charges with their fair use policy and the second was the break-in in their Basingstoke exchange centre which caused massive outages amongst its subscribers.
They have a lot to celebrate about because the first 3G voice call in the United Kingdom was made on its network. In the middle last year, they also launched the first 4G LTE network in the country. This launch was preceded by the company being rewarded 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz bands spectrum by Ofcom, the telecommunication watchdog in the UK. Vodafone UK pools its network technology with O2 which has allowed its network to have more accessibility and stability than before. In 2010, Vodafone UK won the Best Network Award by Mobile News and Mobile Awards.
Apart from Vodafone UK, another major division of Vodafone Group is their Spain operations. Vodafone Spain is one of four major mobile network operators in Spain with others being Movistar, Orange, and Yoigo. Vodafone Spain began its operations about 14 years ago in 2000 and is currently headquartered in Madrid. Vodafone Spain’s establishment was a result of a tie-up between British Telecommunications plc and Vodafone Group. One of the things that Vodafone Spain is most known for is creating a fake Wikipedia entry five years ago for promoting a new mobile plan known as feliz borabo.
From the corporate and investor angle, Vodafone India was created after complicated manoeuvres involving a number of business entities. The manoeuvres began way back in 1992 with the establishment of Hutchison Max, the original company from which Vodafone India took birth. Vodafone entered the Indian market in 2007 by acquiring 67 per cent stake Hutchison Essar, a later version of Hutchison Max. In 2014, Vodafone Group attained complete ownership of Vodafone India. Vodafone India is the second largest mobile network operator in India in terms of subscribers.
Vodafone India is known for its innovative marketing strategies with certain marketing campaigns even becoming part of the pop culture. For instance, Vodafone’s usage of Zoozoos in advertisements popularised balloon like cartoon characters played by real people in the country. Similarly, it’s advertising campaign involving a pug (denoting the Vodafone network) following a young child (supposed customer, male or female), through day to day but unlikely situations has also become very popular in the country.
Vodafone New Zealand
Vodafone New Zealand is the largest mobile network operator in the country and is credited with bringing 4G LTE technology into the country. At the same time, Vodafone New Zealand is also the second largest internet service provider in the country. Vodafone New Zealand is headquartered in Auckland and was formed more than 15 years ago in 1998.
The formation of Vodafone New Zealand was a result of the Vodafone Group acquiring New Zealand operations of BellSouth. Recent surveys in the country have shown that Vodafone New Zealand has the largest share of the market with 42 per cent. Telecom New Zealand comes a close second with 37 per cent while Two Degrees Mobile is third with 20 per cent. Vodafone boasts of about 2.3 million subscribers in New Zealand.
Vodafone Group entered the United States of America in 2000 through a joint venture with Verizon Communications which resulted in the formation of Verizon Wireless. Vodafone Group owned 45 per cent of this joint venture. As per recent statistics, Verizon Wireless has more than 123 million subscribers.
As of last year, Verizon Communications acquired Vodafone Group’s 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless. However, despite this change, many people still refer to Verizon Wireless as Vodafone America. The acquisition of Vodafone Group’s share cost Verizon Communications a hefty sum of 130 billion American dollars of which almost 60 billion American dollars were to be paid in cash. The acquisition was considered to be one of the largest in business history.
When people refer to Vodafone France, they are usually referring to Vodafone Group’s share of Société Française de Radiotéléphone (SFR), a mobile company whose major shareholder is the French stalwart Vivendi. Vodafone entered the French market following massive losses to the tune of 23.3 billion euros being reported by Vivendi Universal.
Subsequent to these reports in 2002, Vivendi sold off its shares in SFR to the Vodafone Group. Following nine years in which Vodafone Group had its share of SFR, another deal was struck between the Vodafone Group and Vivendi SA. The deal entailed the latter buying the former’s share in SFR for about 11 billion American dollars. Since then Vodafone France has ceased to exist.