Jamaludin Ibrahim


Vodafonewatch
This release
: #167
August 2018: 64pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

MANAGEMENT UPDATE: Q1 FY18-19 [p.6]

  • Trouble on horizon as Colao signs out
  • “Broad-based” growth remains a distant dream
  • Tables 1-3: Vodafone Group revenue summaries, Q1 FY18-19

DEALS: Axiata remains on board the Vodafone Idea ship, for now [p.13]

  • Axiata seems bit-part player, and heading for exit

LEGAL AND REGULATORY: Vodafone gives qualified welcome to new EU digital code [p.16]

  • Table: Vodafone report card on Brussels' new European Electronic Communications Code
  • Colao moots FTTP co-investment tie-ups

PEOPLE [p.19]

  • Table: People movement highlights

SUPPLY CHAIN [p.22]

  • Table: Partner/supplier people movement highlights

TECHNOLOGY: Why Vodafone has bought tickets for 'Blade Runner II' [p.25]

  • Platform-based business model
  • Skynet deals with cloud roaming

EUROPE: Vodafone Germany talks tough over 5G access rights [p.30]

  • 5G turf war
  • VfD jumps on super-vectoring bandwagon

Ireland: SIRO misses out on phase-one target, but CEO bullish [p.34]

Spain: VfS parks bus as Telefónica launches TV football attack [p.37]

  • Telefónica baffled by Vodafone not playing ball
  • VfS biggest spender in 5G spectrum auction
  • Coming Italian and German auctions will test Group 5G spend resolve

UK: No near-term TV plan in UK [p.43]

  • Ofcom drops investigation into Vodafone Pass
  • VfUK hit by another high-profile enterprise service setback

AUSTRALIA: VHA gets 3.6GHz boost, but 5G picture still fuzzy [p.46]

  • No leg-up for TPG
  • More 5G spectrum on way…but will VHA splash the cash?

New Zealand: VfNZ joins Group push on digital automation with IBM [p.49]

Turkey: VfT trials broadband collaboration with Türk Telekom [p.52]

VODACOM GROUP: VdT gains much-needed sub-1GHz add-on [p.54]

  • Encouraging signs for Vodacom's broader airwave push

FURTHER READING

INDEX

A

Accenture 21, 41
Aditya Birla Group 13
- Idea Cellular 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 20
Africa 10, 21, 22, 45, 56, 59
- Congo 20, 55
- Egypt 10, 48, 59
- Ethiopia 59
- Kenya 56, 59
- Mozambique 55
- South Africa 10, 20, 22, 55, 56
-- Competition Commission 15
-- Government 55
- Sub-Sahara 10
- Tanzania 55, 59
Agile Software Inc. 50
Alcatel-Lucent 41
Alfa Group
- Altimo (Alfa Telecom International Mobile)
-- Turkcell (see Curkurova/TeliaSonera/separate) 52, 53
Altice Group 41
Amazon.com Inc. 28, 33, 43
- Amazon Web Services 28
Americas
- Canada 22
- USA 26, 51
Asia-Pacific 13, 15
- Australia 21, 46, 47, 48, 51, 59
-- Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) 46, 47, 59
-- National Broadband Network (NBN) 46, 47
- Bangladesh 15
- China 15
- Hong Kong 15
- India 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 57
-- Department of Telecommunications (DoT) 14, 15
- Indonesia 15
- Japan 15
- Malaysia 15
- Myanmar 15
- Nepal 15
- New Zealand 49, 51, 59
- Singapore 15
- Sri Lanka 15
- Taiwan 15
AT&T 27
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 47
Avanti Communications Group plc 21
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International) 13, 14, 15, 57
- India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 57
- Singapore (Mobile One, see separate) 15

B

BAE Systems 24
BearingPoint 27
Bharti Group 9, 15, 20, 57
- Airtel 9, 15, 20, 55, 57
-- Bharti Infratel 15
-- Vittal, Gopal 9
- Bharti Enterprises
-- Comviva Technologies (Bharti Telesoft) 20, 21
- Indus Towers 7, 10, 15, 20
Bloomberg L.P. 7
British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) 43
BT Group 26, 27

C

Caldera 20
China Mobile 15
Cisco Systems 41
Conexus Mobile Alliance 15
C.P.A. Czech s.r.o. 50
Cukurova Holding
- Turkcell (see Altimo/TeliaSonera/separate) 52, 53

D

Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange 56
Dell Technologies
- VMware 22
Deutsche Telekom 58
- Germany 18, 30, 33, 58
Dixons Carphone 21
Drillisch AG 32
du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications) 27

E

Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) 18, 34
Elliott Management Corporation 7
Emblaze Group
- European Telecom 18
EMC
- VMware 22
Enel SpA 18
Ericsson 21, 26
Europe 7, 9, 10, 16, 20, 21, 22, 26, 29, 57, 58
- Czech Republic 11, 21
- Denmark 21
- Finland 21
- France 20
- Germany 9, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 40, 53, 58
-- Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 31, 36, 58
-- Länder
--- Berlin 32
--- North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 9, 21
- Greece 9, 10, 36, 58
- Hungary 11, 21, 36, 40, 58
- Ireland 9, 10, 17, 18, 34, 35, 58
- Italy 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 22, 30, 40
-- Cassa Depositi e Prestiti 18
- Netherlands 40, 41, 58
- Portugal 9, 10, 26, 41, 58
-- Competition Authority (AdC) 41
- Romania 9, 11, 40
- Serbia 21
- Spain 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 58
- Sweden 21
- Turkey 10, 20, 21, 52, 53, 59
- United Kingdom (UK) 7, 9, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 35, 36, 43, 44, 58
-- Office of Communications (Ofcom) 36, 44
European Union 10, 16, 17, 18, 36, 44, 57
- Council of the European Union 16, 17
- European Commission 17, 18, 57
- European Court of Justice 36
- European Parliament 16, 17

F

Facebook 33, 56
freenet AG (Mobilcom) 31, 58

G

Google 33

H

HSBC 21
Huawei Technologies 33, 39
Hutchison Whampoa 15, 24
- Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Ltd (Hutchinson Telecom/HTHKH/3 Hong Kong) 15
- Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 21, 46, 47, 48, 59

I

IBM 33, 49, 50, 59
Iliad 8
Indus Towers 7, 10, 15, 20
Infosys Technologies 27

K

KPMG International 19

L

Liberty Global 11, 21, 36
Lloyds Banking Group plc 21

M

Market segments
- Mobile broadband 54
- Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 30, 31
- Network-sharing 53
- Over-the-top (OTT) 17, 38, 43
- Value-added services (VAS) 22
- Voice 21, 28, 32, 41, 44, 56
Microsoft 19, 41
Middle East 20, 21, 22
- Egypt 10, 48, 59
- Israel 41
- Qatar 21
Millicom International Cellular
- MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO/ Mobitel/Buzz) 55
- Tigo Ghana 55
Mirambo Ltd 56
Mobile One (Singapore) 15
MTN 56
- South Africa 56

N

Neotel (Pty) Ltd (SNO Telecommunications, see also Reliance) 56
Netflix Inc. 43
Nokia 21, 22
- Alcatel-Lucent 41
NTT 27

O

Oger Telecom
- Avea 53
- Turk Telekom 59
Omnicom 41
Ooredoo 15
Open Network Automation Platform 28
Orange
- Orange 20, 26, 27, 38, 39, 40, 58
- Spain 38, 39, 40, 58

P

Permira
- Genesys Telecommunications Labs 41
PPF Group 21
Promotora de Informaciones, S.A. (Grupo PRISA) 41
- Media Capital 41
Publicis Group 41

R

Riverbed Technology 27

S

Safaricom 56, 59
- M-PESA 59
Singapore Telecom
- Optus (Australia) 21, 46, 47
SoftBank Corp. 15
Sprint Nextel 20

T

Tata Group
- Tata Communications
-- Neotel (see separate listing) 56
Technology
- 2.5G 48
- 2G 21, 31, 40, 48, 55, 56
- 3G 31, 40, 46, 47, 56
-- UMTS 31
- 4G 31, 48, 54, 55, 56
-- Long Term Evolution (LTE) 21, 31, 32, 55
- 5G 18, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 36, 39, 40, 46, 47, 48, 58, 59
- AI 33, 49
- Cloud computing 22, 28, 50
- Ethernet 28
- Fibre 16, 17, 18, 21, 33, 34, 35, 44, 52, 53, 56, 58
-- FTTP 17, 18
- FTTH 17
- IoT 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28
- IP 41
- MNP 17
- R&D 36
- SIP 41
- SMS 44, 56
- Spectrum 14, 16, 17, 18, 31, 32, 39, 40, 46, 47, 48, 54, 55, 58, 59
-- 700 MHz 40, 48, 54, 55, 59
-- 800 MHz 39, 40, 55
-- 850 MHz 48
-- 900 MHz 39, 40, 48, 55
-- 1000 MHz 54
-- 1800 MHz 39, 48, 55
-- 2100 MHz 39, 48, 55
-- 2500 MHz 48
-- 2600 MHz 39
-- 3500 MHz 40, 46, 47
- Submarine 51
- VDSL 33
- VoIP 41
Tele Columbus 20
Telecom Egypt 48
Telecom Italia 27
Telefónica Group 30, 31, 32, 37, 38, 39, 58
- Europe
-- España 37, 39, 58
- Movistar 38
TeleManagement Forum
- TM Forum 22, 26, 27, 28
Telenor ASA 14, 15, 21
TeliaSonera
- Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/separate) 52, 53
Telstra 46, 47, 59
Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 46, 47
Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/TeliaSonera) 52, 53

U

u-blox 21
UEFA 37, 38, 58
- Champions League 37, 38, 58
United Internet 32, 58
- 1&1 Internet 32, 58
UPC 36

V

Verizon Communications 27
Vodacom Group 10, 15, 19, 20, 21, 54, 55, 56, 59
- Congo 20, 55
- Executives
-- Meza, Rene 15
- Group 10, 20, 54, 55, 56, 59
- Mozambique 55
- South Africa 10, 20, 22, 55, 56
- Tanzania 15, 54, 55, 56, 59
- Vodacom Business 21
Vodafone
- Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 7, 10, 20, 45, 59
-- Africa 10, 21, 22, 45, 56, 59
-- Asia 15
-- Australia 21, 46, 48, 51, 59
--- VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 21, 46, 47, 48
-- Egypt 10, 48, 59
-- Ghana 21
-- India 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 57
--- Indus Towers 7, 10, 15, 20
-- Kenya (see Safaricom) 56, 59
-- Middle East 20, 21, 22
-- Mozambique 55
-- New Zealand 22, 27, 28, 33, 49, 50, 51, 59
-- Pacific 15
-- Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 21
-- South Africa (see Vodacom) 10, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 54, 55, 56, 59
-- Turkey 10, 20, 21, 52, 53, 59
--- Koç.net 53
- Board of Directors
-- Kleisterlee, Gerard 7, 11, 15
- Europe Region 9, 10, 29, 58
-- Albania 20
-- Cable & Wireless Worldwide 21
-- Czech Republic 11, 20, 21
-- Germany 9, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 40, 44, 50, 53, 58
--- KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 21
-- Greece 9, 10, 36, 58
-- Hungary 11, 20, 21, 36, 40, 58
-- Ireland 9, 10, 17, 18, 34, 35, 58
--- SIRO 17, 18, 34, 35, 58
-- Italy 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 22, 30, 33, 40, 50, 53
-- Netherlands 21, 40, 41, 58
--- VodafoneZiggo 21, 41
-- Portugal 9, 10, 26, 41, 58
-- Romania 9, 11, 40
-- Spain 6, 7, 8, 9, 22, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 53, 58
-- UK 7, 9, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 33, 35, 36, 43, 44, 49, 50, 58
- Executives 24
-- Atkinson, Sean 34
-- Baird, Tony 51
-- Berroeta, Inaki 48
-- Colao, Vittorio 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 30, 32, 36, 40, 43, 50, 57
-- Cramer, Warrick 20
-- Della Valle, Margherita 11
-- Essam, Ayman 48
-- Joosub, Shameel 55, 56
-- Kawalec, Andrzej 24
-- Lenza, Americo 20
-- Liebenberg, Deon 21
-- Nelson, Amanda 36
-- Pieters, Marten 20
-- Read, Nick 7, 11, 30, 40, 50
-- Schultz, Detlef 19
-- Singh, Niraj 20
-- Sood, Sunil 20
-- Stanners, Russell 51
-- Streichert, Till 56
-- Walz, Peter 20
-- Wibergh, Johan 26
- Ex-executives
-- Bennett, Carl 21
-- Geldmacher, Jan 20
-- Morrow, Bill 47
-- Tsalikidis, Kostas 36
-- Whitehill, Kyle 21
- Group 7, 20, 21, 22, 24, 50, 57, 58
-- Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 24
-- Partner Markets 15
--- Hong Kong (Hutchison Telecom) 15
--- Kenya (Safaricom) 56, 59
--- Singapore (StarHub) 15
--- Taiwan (FarEasTone) 15
--- United Arab Emirates (du) 27
-- Vodafone Automotive (formerly Cobra Automotive Technologies) 20
-- Vodafone Carrier Services 20
-- Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 20, 21, 24
- Products
-- 360 11
-- Europe 9
-- Liberty (Malta) 11, 21, 36
-- Mondrian 11
-- One 38
-- Vodafone Pass 36, 44
-- Vodafone TV 37, 38, 43
Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 21

W

WPP 24, 41

  • Vodafone’s former south-east Asian ally did not appear especially keen on a reboot of their relationship, despite them being thrust together once again through the Group’s mega-merger in India.

Malaysian telco Axiata Group confirmed it will become an at-least-temporary shareholder of Vodafone Idea, once the new entity’s apparently imminent creation is wrapped up.

The operator will receive an 8.17%-stake in Vodafone Idea, after recalibration of its current 16.33%-holding in Idea Cellular through the merger with Vodafone India (VfIn). This compares with the 45.1%- and 26%-stakes Vodafone and main partner Aditya Birla Group (ABG) are expected to hold, respectively, upon completion – although a long period of ownership rebalancing is planned subsequently (Vodafonewatch, #153).

Axiata seems bit-part player, and heading for exit

It does not appear that Axiata will be a particularly active or boisterous partner in the new venture, creating headaches for Vodafone and ABG. Vivek Sood, Chief Financial Officer of Axiata (and former Chief Executive of defunct VfIn rival Telenor India), stressed its “supportive” stance towards the merger, echoing Vodafone by emphasising the “long-term value creation from the two companies coming together, and consolidation in the market”.

“The merger will strengthen Vodafone Idea’s position to compete effectively in a now mainly three player market with immediate synergistic benefits to be realised from the best spectrum position and other operational efficiencies.” – Axiata.

It also appears Axiata’s stint as a minority partner of Vodafone in India could be brief. Following dilution of its Idea holding, it will class Vodafone Idea as an “investment”, unlike the “associate” tag it assigns Idea. Further, Sood acknowledged it will not retain rights to hold a Board of Directors seat, and lose other management rights relating to anti-dilution.

As such, he described Vodafone Idea as “no longer a strategic investment for us”.

“Given that this is no longer a strategic investment, we will look at how and what is the right time for if we have to exit from this. And that would be largely dependent on our process of optimising our portfolio and looking at right opportunities to be able to invest in our strategic pillars where we see future value to be created. So there’s no timing as such in our mind, but it is all [dependent] on the purpose and the returns, which we can get much higher in an alternate investment.” – Sood.

There were further signs, beyond Axiata’s announcement, that completion of the Vodafone Idea transaction was close to being announced, with news in late-July 2018 that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had given its go-ahead. The DoT’s nod came at considerable cost to both VfIn and Idea, however, as they agreed to pay more than INR 70bn (£781m/EUR870m) in disputed, one-time spectrum charges to the government, to push the deal through. Vodafone indicated it will challenge the level of the demand, but it does not appear that this challenge will hold-up the broader process. The move leaves approval by the National Law Company Tribunal as the only remaining hurdle for ABG and Vodafone to overcome, and its clearance is seen as something of an administrative formality. In its latest results presentation, for the quarter to 30 June 2018, Vodafone indicated pre-integration work – including recent formalisation of Vodafone Idea’s prospective senior leadership (Vodafonewatch, #165) – was “well advanced”, and it was targeting closure of the deal by 31 August 2018. If achieved, this would put it within the twelve-to-18-month completion timeframe Vodafone laid out when announcing the deal in March 2017 (Vodafonewatch, #153).

No rekindling of Vodafone-Axiata love, though

Axiata’s stand-offish stance towards Vodafone Idea looks to reduce the chances of a revival of wider relations with Vodafone, off the back of the Indian merger. Axiata was once a prominent member of the Group’s Partner Markets roaming and enterprise services federation, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka, but the link-up fizzled out after Vodafone formed a multi-country agreement with Asia-Pacific operator grouping the Conexus Mobile Alliance in 2011 (Vodafonewatch, #95 and #148). With the Conexus relationship having itself now fallen by the wayside, a refreshed linkup with Axiata could help address Vodafone’s resultant low-level presence in south-east Asia, confined to Hong Kong (Hutchison Telecom), Japan (SoftBank), Singapore (StarHub), and Taiwan (FarEasTone). Axiata has operations in six regional markets: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as the interest in Idea Cellular and Singaporean operator M1.

Image: World Economic Forum / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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