Ahmed Essam


Vodafonewatch
This release
: #169
October 2018: 54pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

Executive brief

Group

Strategy: Philippines claims Vodafone mulling licence move [p.6]

  • Partner Markets deal seems more probable for risk-averse Vodafone
  • Vodafone maintains HiWEB partnership in Iran
  • More exposed DT packs bags

Partners: Vodafone adds Juniper to its SD‑WAN team [p.10]

  • SD‑WAN relationships

People: Essam supplants Timuray as Group CEO swap ripples out [p.13]

  • Table: Vodafone Executive Committee, from October 2018
  • Essam shoots up Group pyramid
  • Read rattles the sabre
  • Table: People movements

Supply chain [p.19]

  • Completion of local leg of Middle East–Europe Terrestrial System

Europe

Germany: VfD pumps up DOCSIS 3.1 to 1Gbps [p.21]

  • Higher ambition in Lower Saxony

Italy: Vodafone says ‘arrivederci’ to €2.4bn in Italy’s 5G auction [p.24]

  • Table: Spectrum bills in pipeline:
  • Milan’s Group 5G hub status strengthened
  • AGCOM defends the cash grab
  • Table: VfIt spectrum holdings, post-5G splurge

Netherlands: VfZ forced to open cable network [p.29]

  • Duopoly in sights
  • Another setback for Liberty and Vodafone’s Dutch experiment

Spain: Orange, VfS take a fresh look at site-sharing [p.31]

  • Tower outsourcers line up
  • Table: Vodafone network‑sharing initiatives,
  • VfS cosies up to rival MásMóvil on FTTH
  • Read: Spain on firmer footing

UK: Mitie tightens belt to secure VfUK deal renewal [p.38]

  • VfUK: no mobile roaming fees if no-deal Brexit

Africa, Middle East & Asia-Pacific

Vodacom Group: Joosub welcomes 4G spectrum auction progress [p.42]

  • WOAN not gone
  • Problems mooted over 2016 Prasa tie‑up
  • VdT expands ties with TTCL on rural expansion

Further reading

Index

A

Accenture 18

Aditya Birla Group

 - Idea Cellular 33

Africa 14, 16, 17, 19, 41, 45, 50

 - Congo 47

 - Ghana 7, 47

 - Kenya 7, 17

 - Mozambique 47

 - South Africa 42, 43, 45, 50

 - Competition Commission 36

 - Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) 42, 50

 - Tanzania 7, 33, 46, 47, 50

 - Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) 50

Americas

 - USA 8, 9, 13, 16, 17

  -- government 9

  -- Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) 8, 48

Arqiva 33

Asia-Pacific 7

 - Australia 7, 33

 - China 6, 11, 37, 43, 48

 - India 7, 16, 33, 43, 50

 - Myanmar 7

 - New Zealand 18

 - Philippines 6, 7, 48

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 33, 43, 50

B

Bharti Group 33

 - Airtel 33, 46

 - Bharti Infratel 33

 - Indus Towers 33

BT Group 16, 43

C

China Mobile 11, 43, 48

China Telecom 6, 43

Cisco Systems 11, 19

Coriant 19

D

Debenhams 18

Dell Technologies

 - VMware 19, 37

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 17

 - Deloitte Consulting 17

Deutsche Telekom 9, 17

 - Europe

  --  Czech Republic 17

  --  Netherlands 30

  --  UK (EE) 39

  --  USA 9

Diageo plc 16

du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications) 19

E

Eaton Towers 33

EE (see DT, FT) 39

EMC

 - VMware 19, 37

Enel SpA 26

Europe 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 36, 37, 48, 49

 - Albania 25

 - Czech Republic 15, 22, 25

 - France 9, 17, 25

 - Germany 9, 16, 17, 21, 22, 25, 33, 36, 40, 49

  --  Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 25

  --  Länder

  --  Bavaria (Munich) 21

  --  Lower Saxony (Hanover) 22, 49

  --  North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 22

  --  Saxony (Dresden) 22

 - Greece 33

 - Hungary 15, 22, 25, 49

 - Ireland 33

 - Italy 15, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 40, 49

  --  Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM) 26, 27, 49

 - Netherlands 14, 17, 25, 28, 29, 30, 33, 49

  --  Government 29

 - Portugal 25, 33

 - Romania 15, 22, 25, 32, 33

 - Spain 25, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 40, 49

 - Turkey 13, 14, 16, 17, 33, 37, 49

 - United Kingdom (UK) 18, 19, 33, 38, 39, 40, 47, 48, 49

  --  Office of Communications (Ofcom) 39, 40

European Union 9, 26, 36, 39

European Commission 26, 28, 29, 39

G

General Electric 18

Genesis Energy 18

Ghana Telecom 7

Globe Telecom 7

Goldman Sachs 30, 36, 49

GSM Association (GSMA) 33

Mobile World Congress 11

H

Havas Group 17

 - Havas Media 17

Helios Investment Partners

 - Helios Towers Africa, Ltd. 33

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 16

HiWEB 8

Hogg Robinson Group

 - HRG Worldwide 22

Home Box Office 36

Huawei Technologies 11, 21, 26, 37, 48

Hutchison Whampoa

 - Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 18, 33

I

Iliad 25

Indus Towers 33

J

Juniper Networks 10, 37, 48

K

KPN 17, 29, 30, 33, 49

KT Corp. (KTC/KTF) 6

L

Largo Ltd

 - WIND Hellas 33

LG Electronics 6

Liberty Global 15, 22, 30, 49

 - UPC Germany GmbH

 - Unitymedia GmbH 17, 22

LinkedIn Corp. 9

Lycamobile Ltd 18

M

Market segments

 - Mobile data 39

 - Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 18, 28

 - Network-sharing 32, 33, 38

 - Outsourcing 25, 31, 32, 33, 47

 - Over-the-top (OTT) 17

 - Value-added services (VAS) 8, 28, 45

Marks & Spencer 17

MegaFon (see AF Telecom/Alfa /TeliaSonera) 18

Microsoft 16

Middle East 17, 19

 - Bahrain 19

 - Dubai 17

 - Iran 8, 9

 - Israel 9

 - Kuwait 19

 - Qatar 7, 19

 - Saudi Arabia 19

 - Syria 8

 - United Arab Emirates 19

Millicom International Cellular

 - MIC Tanzania Limited (tiGO/ Mobitel/Buzz) 33, 46

 - Tigo Ghana 33, 46, 47

Mitie Group 38, 49

MTN 45

 - South Africa 45

N

Neotel (Pty) Ltd (SNO Telecommunications, see also Reliance) 45

Netflix Inc. 17, 36

Nokia 11, 17, 26

O

Oger Telecom

 - Avea 33

Open Network Automation Platform 11

Oracle 17

Orange

 - Orange 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 43, 47, 49

 - Romania 33

 - Spain 31, 33, 35, 37

 - UK (see EE) 39

Orchestration Inc. 10

P

Perfecto Mobile 9

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT)

 - Smart Communications 7

S

Safaricom 17

Singapore Telecom

 - Optus (Australia) 33

Sprint Nextel 9

Swisscom

 - Fastweb 26

T

Tata Group

 - Tata Communications

 - Neotel (see separate listing) 45

Technology

 - 2G 33

  --  GSM 33

 - 3G 22, 25, 27, 32, 33, 42

   --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

  --  MIMO 22

 - 4G 22, 28, 32, 42, 43, 47, 50

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 28, 47

 - 5G 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 37, 42, 43, 49, 50

 - Cloud computing 11, 16, 17, 19

 - Data centre 38

 - DSL 36, 49

 - Fibre 21, 26, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 45, 46

 - FM 38

 - FTTH 35, 36, 37

 - GPS 40

 - IoT 17, 22, 27, 30, 38, 40

 - Linux 11

 - Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 30

 - SIM 40

 - Spectrum 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 39, 42, 43, 47, 49, 50

  --  700 MHz 22, 24, 25, 27, 42

  --  800 MHz 25, 27, 42, 47

  --  900 MHz 27, 39, 47

  --  1800 MHz 27, 39, 47

  --  2100 MHz 25, 27, 47

  --  2600 MHz 25, 27, 42, 47

  --  3500 MHz 22, 25, 42

 - VPN 48

 - WAN 10, 11, 48

Telecom Italia 24, 26

 - Telecom Italia Mobile 24

Telefónica Group 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

 - Europe

  --  España 35, 37

  --  Ireland 33

  --  UK 33, 38, 39

 - Movistar 37

Telenor ASA 6

TeliaSonera

 - Yoigo (Xfera) 36

U

UEFA 36

 - Champions League 36

Unilever 17

UPC 22

V

Vasona Networks 9

Viacom Inc. 17

Viettel Group 6

Vodacom Group 17, 33, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 50

 - Congo 47

 - Group 17, 42, 43, 45, 47, 50

 - Mozambique 47

 - South Africa 42, 43, 45, 50

 - Tanzania 7, 17, 33, 46, 47, 50

Vodafone

 - Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 41, 50

  --  Africa 14, 16, 17, 19, 41, 45, 50

  --  Asia 7

  --  Australia 7, 33

  --  Egypt 14, 17

  --  Ghana 7, 33, 47

  --  India 7, 16, 33, 43, 50

   ---   Indus Towers 33

  --  Kenya (see Safaricom) 7, 17

  --  Middle East 17, 19

  --  Mozambique 47

  --  New Zealand 7, 18

  -- Pacific 7

  --  Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 7, 18, 19

  --  South Africa (see Vodacom) 17, 33, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 50

  --  Turkey 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 33, 37, 49

 - Europe Region 13, 14, 17, 20, 49

  --  Albania 17, 25

   ---   Cable & Wireless Worldwide 19

  -- Czech Republic 15, 17, 22, 25

  -- Germany 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 25, 33, 36, 37, 40, 49

   ---   KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 17

  -- Greece 33

   ---   Victus Networks 33

  -- Hungary 15, 22, 25, 49

  -- Ireland 33

   ---   Netshare Ireland 33

  --  Italy 14, 15, 17, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 40, 49

  -- Netherlands 25, 28, 29, 30, 33, 49

   ---   VodafoneZiggo 14, 28, 29, 30, 33, 49

  -- Portugal 17, 25, 33

  -- Romania 15, 22, 25, 32, 33

  -- Spain 14, 21, 25, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 40, 49

  -- UK 14, 17, 18, 19, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 47, 48, 49

   ---   Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd 33, 38

 - Executives

  -- Ametsreiter, Hannes 14

  -- Badrinath, Vivek 14

  -- Bisio, Aldo 14

  -- Coimbra, António 14, 35

  -- Colao, Vittorio 14, 15

  -- Delahunty, Kate 17

  -- Della Valle, Margherita 14

  -- Dimitrova, Anna 17

  -- Essam, Ahmed 13, 14, 16

  -- Hazbay, Heni 16

  -- Humphries, Brian 14

  -- Jeffery, Nick 14

  -- Joosub, Shameel 42, 45

  -- Kuisch, Eric 17

  -- Martin, Rosemary 14

  -- Puci, Viola 17

  -- Read, Nick 7, 13, 14, 16, 24, 32, 36, 49

  -- Reiter, Joakim 14

  -- Schellekens, Ronald 13, 14, 16

  -- Shields, Justin 11

  -- Siemen, Andreas 17

  -- Timuray, Serpil 13, 14, 16

  -- Wibergh, Johan 14

 - Ex-executives

  -- Kawalec, Andrzej 16

  -- Osborne, Rachel 18

  -- Vanoosthuyze, Frederic 18

  -- Ward, Matt 18

  -- Witts, Karen 18

 - Group 11, 16, 18, 19, 49

  -- Partner Markets 7, 8, 19

   ---   Bahrain (Zain) 19

   ---   Kenya (Safaricom) 17

   ---   United Arab Emirates (du) 19

    ---   Vodafone Carrier Services 19

   ---   Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 16

   ---   Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 17

   ---   Vodafone Roaming Services 16

   ---   Vodafone Ventures 9

  -- Perfecto Mobile (see separate) 9

  -- Vasona Networks (see separate) 9

 - Products

  -- Campus 22

  -- Compass (Australia) 18

  -- Liberty (Malta) 15, 22, 30, 49

  -- Red 6

  -- V by Vodafone 40

  -- Vodafone TV 37

  -- Vodafone Foundation 27

Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 18

W

Wipro 16

World Bank 43

World Wide Technology, Inc. 17

Z

Zain (MTC) 19

  • Switch suggests Read concerned with implementation of key central initiatives, such as Digital Vodafone.
  • AMAP Region decline continues with loss of Vodafone Turkey.
  • Schellekens departs for USA after ten years at helm of Group Human Resources.

Vodafone’s new Chief Executive (CEO) Nick Read began to leave an imprint on his top management layer by performing a near-straight swap of Serpil Timuray, Chief Commercial, Operations & Strategy Officer, and Europe Cluster CEO Ahmed Essam.

The move was flagged only surreptitiously, via an early-October 2018 change on the Group’s Executive Committee web page – but the arguable demotion of Timuray will no doubt have sent ripples through Vodafone and its ecosystem. Some outlets reported erroneously that Timuray had been appointed CEO of the entire Europe Region at Vodafone, rather than its Europe Cluster sub-grouping.

Shortly after, in mid-October 2018, Vodafone announced publicly that Ronald Schellekens, long-time Group Director of Human Resources (HR), had resigned. The Dutchman is to leave in January 2019, ten years after joining Vodafone, and is taking up an unnamed “external opportunity” in the USA. The Group will announce his successor “in due course”. Noticeable over recent months had been a series of switches in key HR executives reporting into Schellekens (Vodafonewatch, #166-#168).

Essam shoots up Group pyramid

Essam’s elevation into the powerful Commercial, Operations & Strategy job continues a rapid rise for an executive who was Consumer Business Unit Director at a somewhat peripheral OpCo, Vodafone Egypt (VfEg), less than seven years ago.

He became CEO at VfEg in 2014, and was again promoted to head the Europe Cluster in 2016, as part of a reshuffle that saw former Group CEO Vittorio Colao seek more personal control of underperforming, core European OpCos (Vodafonewatch, #124 and #146). This put Essam in charge of all nine Europe Region businesses – including Dutch joint venture VodafoneZiggo – that sat outside the ‘big four‘ of Vodafone Germany (VfD), Vodafone Italy, Vodafone Spain, and Vodafone UK (VfUK). Essam had a direct report into Read between 2012 and 2013, when he was Commercial Director for the Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific Region (AMAP Region), which the Group CEO then headed.

A sidenote to Timuray’s move to become Europe Cluster CEO is that it has been accompanied by the addition of her former stomping ground, Vodafone Turkey (VfT), to the Europe Cluster. This could be interpreted as either a gesture, to boost the Cluster’s heft, or that Read would like Timuray, with her Group clout and experience as a former VfT CEO, overseeing the Turkish OpCo in more difficult times. Either way, the addition of VfT still leaves the Europe Cluster as ‘large OpCo‘ size – sitting between VfD and VfUK in terms of service revenue contribution for Vodafone’s last fiscal year. It also underlines Vodafone’s habit of unceremoniously (and no doubt unhelpfully) batting the geographically ambiguous VfT between Regions, during reorganisations.

Read rattles the sabre

Timuray’s move in the other direction is more curious, and could be interpreted as a step down, even despite the accompanying VfT switch and the Group’s pending buyout of Liberty Global operations in Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania. Along with Read, Timuray was a major rising star of the Colao era, and would no doubt have been an internal rival for the Group CEO job when the Italian resigned.

The switch extends beyond personal rivalries, though. Group-OpCo dynamics will no doubt be a preoccupation of Read, as he seeks to bed down in the top job, and the promotion of Essam sends a message across Vodafone about the importance the CEO – who is already under considerable pressure from shareholders, to improve Group profitability – is attaching to implementation of the various savings-led programmes he is seeking to push out to the markets (Vodafonewatch, #168 and passim).

Essam had been credited with quickly progressing the centrally-devised Digital Vodafone scheme within Europe Cluster businesses (Vodafonewatch, #165), and by leapfrogging him into the new job, above more prominent OpCo CEOs, Read makes his desire for compliance with Group strategy clear. Whether this is sufficient to secure more influence over OpCo decisions is another matter.

The move also accentuates the increased grip the formerly-Read-led Group Finance division holds over strategic decision-making, in current times. Digital Vodafone is seen as having predominantly been shaped by Group Finance, and since being launched in 2017 (Vodafonewatch, #160 and passim), has evidently supplanted longer-running initiatives devised by Group Commercial, Operations & Strategy (Customer eXperience eXcellence) and Group Technology (Gigabit Vodafone).

There might also be implications for the AMAP Region, with the loss of VfT not just depriving the division of its third-largest business, but pilfering one of the only OpCos that has been untouched by the Group’s push to hand-off risk outside of Europe, through M&A and associated devolving of debt to local markets. With Vodafone becoming ever more of an “investment management” player outside of its European core, there remains the question of whether Read may also seek to refresh how the AMAP Region is operated.

Many might further hope that the new CEO’s plans for change extend beyond dry organisational tweaks, and into cultural change, loosening top-down control (within a KPI framework) and igniting a more empowered and dynamic business.

For more on this story (including a table outlining the members of Vodafone’s Executive Committee, from October 2018), plus coverage of the other 35 people movement uncovered this month, see the full October issue of Vodafonewatch.

Image: Vodafone/Flickr

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