Showing posts with label Vodafone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vodafone. Show all posts

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vodafone Italy comments on 5G plans

Vodafone Italy announced that the 3700 MHz spectrum it acquired this week in the national auction can be used immediately to enhance coverage, improve capacity, and for the rapid development of 5G services.

In the spectrum action, Vodafone Italy agreed to pay for the following licenses:

  • 3700 MHz – 80 MHz for €1,685 million, available from 1 January 2019 with a licence duration of 19 years.
  • 700 MHz – 2 x 10 MHz FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) for €683 million, available from July 2022 with a licence duration of 15.5 years.
  • 26 GHz – 200 MHz for €33 million, available from 1 January 2019 with a licence duration of 19 years.

When it is available from 2022, the 700 MHz spectrum will be used to deploy enhanced 5G services, providing nationwide coverage at very high speed and very low latency. Vodafone can also use the 26 GHz spectrum acquired to deliver high capacity services in densely populated locations such as city centres, sports stadiums or industrial plants.

Vodafone currently has 5G trials underway in Milan and its metropolitan area, with the aim of transforming Milan into the 5G capital of Europe. Vodafone expects to have already achieved coverage of 80% of Milan and its metropolitan area by December 2018.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “Auctions should be designed to balance fiscal requirements with the need for investment to enable economic development. Telecoms is the sector that enables all other sectors to participate in the Gigabit society. It is critical that European governments avoid artificial auction constructs which fail to strike a healthy balance for the industry.”

Monday, September 3, 2018

Vodafone tests Huawei's cloud-based Broadband Network Gateway

Vodafone recently completed the second phase test of Huawei's cloud-based Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) solution in a fixed broadband scenario.

The phase I testing was performed in December 2017 and focused on 52 functional tests of the solution, while the phase II testing, completed in May 2018, focused on the Vodafone Portugal service architecture including internet access and VPN services. Both phase I and II have been completed successfully.

Phase II testing covered access, authentication and accounting for home broadband users in various scenarios. It also included performance, reliability and security testing of cloud-based BNG systems. Vodafone and Huawei verified functionality of the cloud-based BNG solution using virtual network functions (VNFs) as the control plane and also using physical network functions (PNFs) as the user plane.

Huawei says its BNG solution features a Control & User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture, which decouples the control and user planes of traditional BNG architectures. The control plane integrates the user management functions of multiple BNGs and shifts their resources to the cloud. In addition to automated service provisioning and network O&M, the solution deployment in the cloud also enables global resource sharing, elastic capacity scaling, flexible architecture adjustment and network capability exposure.

Jeffrey Gao, President of Huawei's Router & Carrier Ethernet Product line, stated: "Cloud-based BNG is an innovative implementation of Huawei's Intent-Driven Network in the context of network service cloudification. The Intent-Driven Network decouples traditional networks into an elastic, reliable bearer layer and an agile service layer. This creates a simple architecture enabling the rapid and flexible adjustment of resources. This solution helps operators improve the efficiency of their network operations, reduce O&M costs and smoothly evolve network services to the cloud."

Friday, July 20, 2018

Vodafone activates its first gigabit residential service in UK

Vodafone began offering home broadband speeds of 1 Gbps, about 20 times the current UK average of 46 Mbps, in Milton Keynes. The full fibre home broadband service is first being tested in 50 customer homes before it is made widely available across the city.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK Chief Executive, said: “Full fibre is vital to our digital economy and to the UK’s future as a digital leader, yet just 3% of UK premises currently have access to it. That’s why we are offering Vodafone Gigafast Broadband and making it available on a mass scale, reaching a million UK homes by 2021.”

Monday, July 2, 2018

Vodafone tests Voyager whitebox for packet/optical transport

Vodafone has conducted a live network trial of a whitebox packet/optical transport solution based on the Telecom Infra Project’s Voyager design.

Vodafone used the Voyager devices with a network OS by Cumulus Networks and a NetOS Software Defined Network orchestration from Zeetta Networks on a live network in Spain.

ADVA played a key role as one of the architects of the platform.

Cumulus said the trial demonstrated how a Voyager whitebox can be implemented over an existing optical infrastructure. The results of the trial include:
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver 800 Gbps per rack
  • Demonstrated ability to dynamically adapt the system modulation as fiber conditions changed
  • Proved that “a live network can set up optical services and keep them running” 
  • SDN-based optical commissioning (modulation, power, frequency) to 200 Gbps, 16QAM, and 100 Gbps quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) 
  • SDN-based optical real-time monitoring with automatic modulation adaptation from 200 Gbps, 16QAM to 100Gbit/s, QPSK maintaining connectivity with 50% capacity of traffic in the case of optical line degradation and reverting automatically to 16QAM when the degradation was fixed 
  • Upgrade of a legacy 10 Gbps-based legacy WDM system with 4 x 200 Gbps wavelengths for a total of 800 Gbps of extra capacity
"We wanted to show how Voyager's variable-rate transceivers can be used to match speeds and modulation formats with actual line conditions,” said Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone’s Group Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture. “Thanks to a streamlined network operating system and SDN automation, we showed how our live network can set-up optical services and keep them running, reduce unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions, and improve network utilization."

“The successful results from Vodafone’s live trial represent a significant step toward how optical networks will be designed in the future,” said JR Rivers, Co-founder and CTO at Cumulus Networks. “Cumulus has found success bringing disaggregation to the data center and we are now applying that model to optical networks, which haven’t been disrupted in decades. We believe buy-in from top providers like Vodafone validates the importance of shifting to a disaggregated model in telecommunications. By sharing the success of the trial, we hope to encourage other providers in the optical industry to consider the benefits of moving away from traditional vendor lock-in and embracing open alternatives.”

Cumulus Networks recently announced early access of Cumulus Linux for Voyager for NYSERNet, Internet2, GRnet and CESNET.

https://cumulusnetworks.com/products/voyager/

https://blog.advaoptical.com/en/vodafone-deploys-tips-voyager-in-a-live-network-trial-to-transform-optical-networks

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Vodafone to launch 5G trial in UK cities this year

Vodafone UK confirmed plans to launch a 5G trial network in seven cities across the UK starting between October and December this year.

Specifically, Vodafone engineers are already laying the groundwork for 5G at more than 40 sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

The 5G rollout will be part of Vodafone's "Gigabit UK" vision, which also includes fixed broadband using gigabit-capable ‘full fibre’ connections all the way to people’s homes and offices. Vodafone plans to bring its Gigabit UK service to seven cities by then of this year, including Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Stirling.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.”

Monday, June 4, 2018

Vodafone demos FlexEthernet with Ciena

Vodafone demonstrated what they believe is the world’s first programmable infrastructure based on FlexEthernet. The testing used Vodafone UK’s Red Stream network and equipment from Ciena.

RedStream is an IP-based converged core network consisting of more than 200 sites connected by more than 11,000 km of optical fibre and with more than 1,000 MPLS-enabled aggregation node. Redstream provides converged connectivity for Vodafone’s mobile base stations, consumer broadband services and enterprise data and voice customers throughout the UK.

In a blog posting, Eva Rossi, Head of Transport Product, Vodafone Group, says the test was capable of delivering speeds of up to 400 Gbps over a single wavelength. Vodafone also tested flexible spectrum based on Ciena’s tunable WaveLogic Ai coherent optics and Manage Control and Plan controller.

http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/what/technology-blog/vodafone-pioneers-flexible-ethernet-in-uk.html



V

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone test NB-IoT roaming

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Group completed an international roaming trial in Europe using licensed NB-IoT technology.

The trial was performed using global SIMs from Deutsche Telekom on Vodafone Spain’s network and global Vodafone SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network and commercial NB-IoT modules. The trials will also provide guidance to other operators in delivering a consistent level of implementation.

“The success of these trials is an important milestone in the development of a sustainable roaming environment for Mobile IoT networks, showcasing their capabilities as well as ensuring consistent service across geographical boundaries,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The market has matured considerably in a very short time and we anticipate that this will be the year that Mobile IoT scales. Undoubtedly this is because only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.”

“Deutsche Telekom has successfully introduced and developed NB-IoT networks across most of its European footprint and we are very pleased to see the ecosystem rapidly expanding,” says Ingo Hofacker, responsible for the IoT business in the Deutsche Telekom Group. “First commercial offers are available on a national basis already, but now, operators need to satisfy customer demand for international coverage and service continuity as well.”

Vodafone director of IoT Stefano Gestaut said, “This development shows the successful evolution of the technology and I am confident that it will lead to a raft of new applications for NB-IoT, such as the cold chain monitoring of goods across borders.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Vodafone to acquire Liberty Global operations for $22.7 billion

Vodafone agreed to acquire Liberty Global's operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic in a deal valued at approximately €19.0 billion ($22.7 billion). The combination is also notable for bringing together mobile infrastructure with cable operations.

Vodafone said the acquisition accelerates its convergence story and strengthens its position as a leading next generation infrastructure owner in Europe. After the merger is complete, Vodafone will have 54 million cable/fibre homes ‘on-net’ and a total NGN reach of 110 million homes and businesses, including wholesale arrangements.

In Germany, the combination of Vodafone and Unitymedia’s non-overlapping regional operations will establish a strong second national provider of digital infrastructure in the German market. The ambition is to bring Gigabit connections to around 25 million German homes (62% of total German households) by 2022.

In eastern Europe, the Liberty Global properties will complement Vodafone’s existing mobile operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. In these markets, the combined businesses will reach over 6.4 million homes (39% of total households) and will serve 15.8 million
mobile, 1.8 million broadband, and 2.1 million TV customers.

Liberty Global said these four businesses represent approximately 28% of its consolidated 2017 operating cash flow (OCF), not including its 50% share of OCF from the VodafoneZiggo joint venture in the Netherlands. After completion of the transaction, Liberty Global will continue to be Europe’s leading cable television and broadband provider, with consolidated operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland
and Slovakia. Together, these country operations reach 24 million homes, account for 26 million video, broadband and fixed-line telephony subscribers

The sale price represents a total enterprise value for all four businesses combined of 11.5 times 2017 adjusted Segment OCF, or approximately 24.0 times 2017 operating free cash flow (“OFCF”), with an implied adjusted Segment OCF multiple for Liberty Global’s German operation of 12.0 times.

"This transaction will create the first truly converged pan-European champion of competition. It represents a step change in Europe’s transition to a Gigabit Society and a transformative combination for Vodafone that will generate significant value for shareholders. We are committed to accelerating and deepening investment in next generation mobile and fixed networks, building on Vodafone’s track record of ensuring that customers benefit from the choice of a strong and sustainable challenger to dominant incumbent operators. Vodafone will become Europe’s leading next generation network owner, serving the largest number of mobile customers and households across the EU.”

Friday, April 13, 2018

Vodafone UK tests 3.4 GHz spectrum for 5G

Vodafone UK completed the first test of 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for 5G across an existing live network between Manchester and the company’s headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire.

The test used Massive MIMO combined with 3.4 GHz spectrum running over the core 4G network. Vodafone's site in Manchester was its contact centre, which houses around 1,000 customer service employees

The company described the test as a major milestone in UK telecommunications, as it is the first time that the 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) radio frequency allocated for 5G has been used in the UK, and noted that is was carried out just a week after Vodafone secured the largest slice of 5G spectrum in Ofcom’s auction.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “5G will improve the quality of our lives and transform how we work. This next generation technology will enable medical services that could save lives, from remote surgery to remote care for the elderly. It will enhance industrial applications, from automated systems to robotics, helping manufacturers across the UK boost their productivity. And it will enable families to share their experiences with loved ones wherever they are, thanks to innovations like augmented reality."

UK completes spectrum auction - EE and Vodafone gain 5G bands

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

EE won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.

Hutchison 3G UK won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Telefónica UK won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.

Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, which would have been a new entrant to the UK mobile market, failed to win spectrum in either band.

The total value of the winning bids amounts to £1,355,744,000.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Vodafone sells its mobile towers in India to American Tower

Vodafone India completed the sale of its standalone tower business in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (a unit of American Tower) for an enterprise value of INR 38.5 billion (EUR 478 million).

Vodafone India is merging with Idea. Both parties announced their intention to sell their individual standalone tower businesses to strengthen the combined financial position of the merged entity. Completion of Idea’s sale of its standalone tower business to ATC is also expected in the first half of this calendar year.

Completion of Vodafone+Idea merger is expected to complete in the first half of the current calendar year.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vodafone plans 4G on the moon for rover mission

PTScientists, a privately-held venture based in Berlin, Germany is aiming for a historic lunar landing next year.

The plan calls for delivering two rovers, or up to 100 kg of payload, to the lunar surface using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The mission will be to approach and study NASA's Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon (Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt) to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

Nokia Bell Labs is developing a space-grade, 4G Ultra Compact Network that will use the 1800 MHz frequency band to communicate from the landing site to the remote rovers. Streaming HD video will be captured by the rovers and retransmitted back to Mission Control in Berlin. The networking gear will weigh less than one kilo.

Audi will supply the rovers.

Vodafone said it is thrilled to deploy a 4G mobile network on the moon.

Vodafone Germany CEO, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, commented: "This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness."

Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon, said: "We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner. This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019."

http://ptscientists.com

Vodafone and China Mobile enter IoT resale partnership

Vodafone and China Mobile agreed to resell each other’s IoT services.

Under the agreement, each company will share new IoT project opportunities. Vodafone customers will be given access to China Mobile IoT SIMS for deployments in China, and China Mobile customers wanting to offer IoT-enabled products outside of China will use Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM and management platform. Vodafone will manage all elements of the operational model for its customers including on-boarding, SIM and logistics as well as billing and support. The company will effectively act as a single point of contact for its enterprise IoT customers wanting to move into China.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vodafone: IoT Trends for 2018

by Ludovico Fassati, Head of IoT for Vodafone Americas

IoT will drive business transformation

Companies that have adopted IoT see the technology as mission critical to their business. These companies are leading the way when it comes to digital transformation initiatives. According to Vodafone’s 2017/18 IoT Barometer, 74% of companies that have adopted IoT agree that digital transformation is impossible without it. The businesses that implement IoT solutions in the next year will have a clear advantage over competitors when it comes to evolving their digital capabilities.

LP-WAN solutions will open up the IoT market

IoT adopters have great expectations for the future of the technology, and new connectivity options like Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN) are making innovation possible. LP-WAN technologies, like Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) allow for increased network coverage over a wide area at a low cost, making them an ideal solution for adding connectivity in hard-to-reach places. According to the analyst firm Analysys Mason, once there is greater awareness and understanding of LP-WAN, there will be new wave of growth in this area. LP-WAN technologies will begin to open the IoT market to applications that have not previously benefitted from connectivity.

IoT will become central to enterprise IT functions

Today, most major enterprises have already integrated IoT into their core systems and initiatives to drive digital businesses. We will continue to see connectivity become part of the enterprise IT fabric – in fact, within five years, IoT will be core to millions of business processes. In the future, companies may even take for granted that devices and appliances like vehicles and HVAC systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, thanks to IoT connectivity.

Companies will be increasingly confident in IoT security solutions

As with any new technology, security remains a top concern when it comes to IoT. However, businesses with large IoT implementations are becoming more confident, given that they have the expertise and resources necessary to tackle security concerns. These organizations will begin to see these security measures as enablers that give them the confidence to push business forward. As the technology matures, trust in IoT-enabled applications and devices will only continue to grow.

Businesses will see unexpected benefits from IoT adoption

Companies that integrate IoT solutions will see a number of benefits from the technology. The benefits go way beyond just enabling better data collection and business insights. IoT will be seen as a driver of improvements across businesses – organizations are already using IoT to reduce risk, cut costs, create new revenue streams, improve employee productivity, enhance customer experience and more. Businesses are likely to see even more benefits as they implement the technology across operations.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Vodafone initiates 5G trial with Ericsson

Vodafone UK is conducting a trial of pre-standard 5G using 3.5 GHz spectrum in central London.

The testing is carried out in partnership with Ericsson and King’s College London. The trial includes both indoor and outdoor configurations using MIMO, beamforming, beam tracking, and other advanced technologies.

Vodafone UK Head of Networks Kye Prigg said: “We’re delighted to be the first provider to test standalone 5G in the field, however, building a 5G network will take time. Right now, we’re also modernising our network by making smarter use of our existing mobile technology to keep ahead of consumption demands and provide the mobile coverage our customers deserve.

“5G also needs fibre optic cables. Together with CityFibre, we will soon start work installing the advanced fibre networks providing high-capacity backhaul connections required for 5G mobile services.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vodafone Agrees to Enterprise NFV Licensing Agreement with VMware

Vodafone Group has agreed to a software licensing agreement with VMware supporting the operator's global roll out of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Specifically, Vodafone will deploy VMware vCloud NFV as part of its group-wide transformation program utilizing NFV and software defined networking technologies across applications and networks. Vodafone will also receive Carrier-Grade Support, a new VMware offering to support the implementation of new software.

VMware said its vCloud NFV will provide Vodafone with an ETSI-compliant, modular, multi-tenant NFV platform that supports choice in virtual infrastructure managers (VMware and OpenStack). The vCloud NFV platform combines a highly available, carrier-grade NFV infrastructure with Day 2 operations management and service assurance capabilities. Customers such as Vodafone are able to roll out multiple applications on a common NFV infrastructure, rather than building new platforms for each innovative service. The VMware-based virtualized infrastructure including VMware vSphere and VMware NSX will also provide a common architecture spanning network and IT operations, further improving operational efficiencies and overall economics.

"Virtualized, cloud-native network functions are a critical element of our Group-wide program as we continue to transform how we build, operate and evolve our networks and services," said Fran Heeran, Vodafone Group's Head of Network Virtualisation. "Reducing the time and cost to deploy and operate services, utilizing automation and convergence in standardized cloud environments for our network and IT businesses is a critical part of our technology and operational transformation strategy."

"Vodafone's selection of VMware to support network transformation highlights how we are a proven, strategic software innovator that can help communications service providers successfully deliver new services faster while driving down costs," said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco Group at VMware. "Our vCloud NFV platform is an agile and flexible virtualized infrastructure platform. Combined with Carrier-Grade Support, this will provide Vodafone with an open platform for new service development today, with an architecture that will support 5G deployments in the future."

https://www.vmware.com/solutions/industry/telco.html

Monday, July 17, 2017

Vodafone teams with Lime Microsystems to develop software-defined radio

UK-based Lime Microsystems, a designer and manufacturer of field programmable RF transceivers, announced a collaboration with Vodafone Group to develop software-defined cellular radio platforms that will support Vodafone's OPEN RAN vision.

The app-enabled LimeNET platform is designed to bring together a large community of developers to help create advanced and tailored cellular applications more quickly and more cost effectively. The applications are intended to encompass all aspects of RAN functionalities and the services on top, ranging from 4G to NB-IoT and enterprise-specific applications.

Lime noted that to date wireless innovation has been limited by access to affordable, maintainable and upgradeable hardware. However, by making the radio network software configurable, LimeNET is aiming to change this and aligns with Vodafone's Open RAN initiative, which aims to virtualise RAN functionality and enable decoupling of hardware, software and third party applications using general purpose platforms.


* In 2016 Lime Micro launched a crowd funding campaign to support the development of its LimeSDR open source software defined radio. The funding had a target of $500,000 but had raised over $1 million as of mid-2017.

As part of this initiative, Lime was working with EE, now part of BT, including setting up projects based on the LimeSDR technology for the provision of high-speed access in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In addition, BT supported the LimeNET and the LimeSDR campaigns.

* In June 2017, the company announced it had launched a second campaign via Crowd Supply and that it had shipped most of the LimeSDR boards.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Huawei and Vodafone Turkey enterMoU for TechCity 2.0 project

Huawei and Vodafone Turkey have announced the launch of the TechCity 2.0 Project in Istanbul, Turkey, designed to expand cooperation between the two companies to deliver a range of new technologies and solutions.

The companies noted that Istanbul was named as one of 14 leading Tech Cities worldwide in May last year, and the new TechCity project is intended to provide solutions that will help address mega-city issues in Istanbul.

Over the past year, the TechCity project has delivered advanced technology in Turkey, including for the 'smart stadium', the Besiktas ground which Vodafone Turkey sponsors, where 4 x 4 MIMO and CRAN technologies have been implemented. The solution provides enhanced capacity and higher data speeds to people in the stadium, enabling speeds of up to 400 Mbit/s utilising commercial licensed and unlicensed bands via LAA 3CC technology on the Huawei Lampsite base station.

In addition, the deployment of Huawei DRAN and Easy Macro solutions is intended to enhance Internet service in high traffic areas such as universities, hotels, concert venues and crowded roads by increasing coverage and capacity.

It was noted that recently, Vodafone Turkey and Huawei completed what is believe to be the first verification of the GL spectrum sharing solution on Vodafone's commercial networks in Istanbul. The solution enables spectrum sharing between GSM and LTE, which increases both LTE data rate and cell capacity. Huawei stated that compared to LTE 5M, the LTE peak data rate can be increased by nearly 80%.

TechCity 2.0 offers a commercial test environment for new technology and services and is designed to help operators verify end-to-end business models. By providing enhanced coverage and connectivity for MBB (mobile broadband) networks and enabling information sharing, it can help to improve the efficiency of connections between people and things.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Vodafone and LG UPlus partner to address South Korea market

Vodafone and LG UPlus have jointly announced a new partner market agreement covering South Korea, marking the first strategic partnership by LG Uplus with a global telecoms company.

Under the new partnership, which commenced in April 2017, Vodafone will leverage its global reach and expertise to support the consumer and enterprise operations of LG Uplus in South Korea. As part of the agreement, Vodafone will share best practices with LG Uplus across all areas of its business, including network strategy and development, with the aim of helping LG Uplus to improve its customer base management capabilities.

Vodafone and LG Uplus will additionally cooperate to enable the delivery of unified communications and enterprise services to multinational companies with a presence in South Korea and internationally.

LG Uplus is focused on providing services comprising mobile, B2B solutions and TPS (triple play service, with broadband, VoIP and IPTV), and at the end of the first quarter of 2017 served approximately 12.6 million mobile subscribers and 3.67 million broadband customers.

Vodafone Group is a global telco with mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in a further 49 countries and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. At the end of March, Vodafone Group had 515.7 million mobile customers and 17.9 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers for its joint ventures and associate companies.


In April this year, Vodafone and Proximus of Belgium the renewal of their strategic partnership covering Belgium and Luxembourg for a further five years, building on a relationship that began in 2003. The agreement is designed to enable the companies to offer joint products and services across their networks for consumer and enterprise customers.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Melita and Vodafone Malta to merge to create fixed and mobile service provider

Vodafone Group, together with Apax Partners Midmarket and Fortino Capital, announced an agreement to combine broadband, cable and pay TV company Melita and Vodafone Malta.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vodafone Malta, the country's largest mobile operator, operating a 4G mobile network covering 99% of the Maltese population, will be combined with Melita, the largest provider of cable, broadband and pay TV services with a network covering 99% of Maltese households. Melita offers a range of content and high speed broadband with download speeds of up to 250 Mbit/s.

The transaction values Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of Euro 208 million, and values Melita at an enterprise value of Euro 298 million. At completion, the shareholders of Melita will own 51% of the combined company and Vodafone Europe, the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, the remaining 49%2. The combined entity will have net debt of approximately Euro 345 million and Vodafone will receive an estimated cash payment of Euro 120 million, with Melita shareholders receiving an estimated cash payment of Euro 33 million.

On closing, the combined company's mobile and enterprise business will operate under the Vodafone brand and will offer a range of solutions, including Vodafone's portfolio of products and services, as well as having access to Vodafone's expertise and capabilities in mobile and fixed operations.

The combination will establish a new integrated communications company with the scale and resources to deliver quad play bundled mobile, fixed broadband, fixed telephony and TV services to consumers and a range of enterprise services for businesses and the public sector in Malta. Vodafone noted that the new company will be better positioned to compete with the integrated incumbent Maltese operator GO.

The combined company expects to realise cost synergies through the rationalisation of duplicated activities and improved network investment efficiency as the company begins to introduce 4.5G, and in the future 5G, mobile networks and gigabit-capable fixed networks.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, Vodafone Malta generated Euro 30 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 14 million of underlying operating free cash flow; for the financial year ended March 31, 2016 Vodafone Malta generated a pre-tax profit of Euro 11 million. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, Melita generated Euro 33 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 20 million of underlying operating free cash flow.

The Melita shareholders intend to appoint the current CEO of Melita, Harald Rösch, as CEO of the combined company and Vodafone intends to appoint the current CFO of Vodafone Malta, Caroline Farrugia, as CFO.


The transaction, which requires approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, is currently expected to close in the second half of 2017.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vodafone to transfer 35% interest in Safaricom to Vodacom

Vodafone Group announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vodafone International Holdings B.V., has agreed to transfer part of its indirect shareholding in Safaricom, serving around 28 million subscribers in East and Central Africa, to Vodacom Group, its sub-Saharan Africa subsidiary.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vodafone will exchange a 35% indirect interest in Safaricom for 226.8 million new ordinary Vodacom shares. The transaction, which is valued at approximately Euro 2,361 million based on Vodacom's closing share price on May 12th, 2017, will increase Vodafone's ownership in Vodacom from 65% to 70%. Vodafone will continue to hold a 5% indirect stake in Safaricom following the transfer, in addition to the indirect interest held via Vodacom.

As part of the transaction, Vodafone Group has provided assurances to the government of Kenya relating to the ongoing operation of the long standing partnership between Safaricom, the Vodafone Group and the Kenyan Government.

The transaction is expected to allow Vodafone Group to streamlines and simplify the management of its sub-Saharan African holdings and to strengthen alignment and cooperation between Safaricom and Vodacom throughput the region and internationally. More specifically, Vodacom will strengthen its position in the Kenyan market.

Vodafone currently holds a 40% indirect interest in Safaricom through wholly-owned subsidiary Vodafone Kenya (VKL). Vodacom has agreed to acquire an 87.5% shareholding in VKL, representing a 35% indirect interest in Safaricom; Vodafone will retain the remaining 12.5% shareholding in VKL, representing a 5% indirect interest in Safaricom.

As part of the transaction, Vodacom is to issue 226.8 million new ordinary shares to Vodafone, which values the effective 35% indirect interest in Safaricom at approximately Euro 2,361 million. The implied exchange ratio of 1.62 new Vodacom shares for every 100 Safaricom shares compares to an implied exchange ratio of 1.56 based on the 90 day VWAP, 1.63 based on the 180 day VWAP and 1.72 based on the closing prices on May 12th.

After closing of the transaction, Vodafone will continue to report direct and indirect holdings in Safaricom under the equity method. Vodafone noted that closing of the transaction is subject to conditions including approvals from Vodacom minority shareholders, from the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank and confirmation from the Kenya Capital Markets Authority that the transaction does not obligate Vodacom to make a mandatory bid for Safaricom.


The transaction is currently expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.


See also