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Vodafonewatch
This release
: #171
January 2019: 78pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Deals: Vodafone turns to IBM for leg-up in cloud [p.6]

  • Fineprint not yet apparent
  • BOGO with forgotten VESS?
  • New broom for Vodafone Business, new squeeze on partners?

Legal and Regulatory: Vodafone to replace PwC as Phones 4u lawsuit lands [p.11]

  • Court action confirmed, Orange and DT dragged in
  • Dunne's calls reportedly in focus

Network: Vodafone goes on SDN pilot for microwave backhaul [p.13]

  • Table: SDN steers microwave backhaul: fab‑four use‑cases based on the SM‑DC
  • Group warms up on microwave
  • Table: Backhaul capacity requirements per radio site for operators at two different stages of mobile broadband evolution

Partnerships: Vodafone duet hits right notes for Elisa [p.16]

People: Telco Cloud boss swaps Vodafone for Nokia [p.18]

  • New regime, new priorities
  • Table: People movement highlights

Supply Chain: Vodafone seeks to ride out Huawei firestorm [p.23]

  • VHA's Berroeta plays down ban impact
  • Muddiness in Czech Republic and Germany
  • Pain not in Spain; backing in Italy
  • OK in UK, says Read -- but picture more troublesome
  • Political forces swirl
  • Table: Partner/supplier people movement highlights

EUROPE REGION

Germany: VfD mounts legal challenge against 5G auction rules [p.29]

  • BNA under the hammer
  • GSMA puts its oar in
  • Table: MNO moans: GSMA rundown on what's wrong with 5G auction rules in Germany

Hungary: Vodafone Hungary wraps up 2.1GHz extension [p.32]

Ireland: VfIr pushes 5G boat out with Ericsson [p.34]

  • On the rural broadband trail
  • Figure: Ireland, fixed-line broadband market share comparison
  • VfIr's fibre challenge needs a wireless leg‑up

Italy: VfIt CEO gives guarded support for broadband NetCo [p.39]

  • Towering ambition
  • Milan 5G and Huawei updates

Netherlands: VfZ taps Cisco's latest SON tech for 5G RAN automation [p.42]

  • Nice one, SON
  • Close buddies
  • RAN radicalisation

Romania: Telcos on hook in government 'Greed Tax' grab [p.46]

  • Liberty won't be too bothered

Spain: Struggling VfS takes lead on Group's 'tactical' rethink [p.48]

  • Figure: Vodafone Spain adjusted EBITDA margin, FY16-19
  • Spain the flashpoint of Vodafone's Group-level strategy errors
  • VfS kicks copper to the kerb
  • Tele2: end of the line

UK: VfUK gets more streetwise on small-cell rollout [p.52]

  • Little sign of JCDecaux
  • O2 and Vodafone extend sharing to 5G, with passive focus
  • A deeper partnership underground, more
  • independence at the business end

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AND ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

Vodafone Hutchison Australia: TPG tie-up brings VHA out of spectrum shell [p.58]

  • New buddy TPG already having an impact
  • Table: Australia 3.6GHz auction results, by region
  • Merger and spectrum: next steps key
  • Competition regulator punctures the mood

Ghana: VfGh coughs up for 800MHz concession [p.62]

  • 4G launch coming

India: Airtel keen on a VfI infrastructure super-meld [p.64]

  • Capital ideas: VfI already looking beyond merger to shore up business

New Zealand: Vodafone New Zealand preps job cuts [p.67]

  • Digitisation, automation, outsourcing… all boxes ticked

Vodacom Group: Safaricom tests out Huawei's low-touch TubeStar tower [p.69]

  • Network still a key competitive weapon

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 34

A

Aditya Birla Group

 - Idea Cellular 22, 63

Africa 20, 57, 62, 68, 70, 71, 74

 - Congo 62

 - Ghana 22, 62, 63, 74

  --  National Communications Authority 62, 74

 - Kenya 68, 69, 70

  --  Central Bank of Kenya 68

 - Nigeria 22, 71

 - South Africa 61, 68, 71

 - Sub-Sahara 20

 - Uganda 22

Airsweb 27

Alcatel-Lucent 18, 21

Alfa Group

 - Altimo (Alfa Telecom International Mobile)

 - Turkcell (see Curkurova/ TeliaSonera/separate) 22

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 72

Altice Group 45

Altran Technologies, SA 41

Amazon.com Inc. 20, 21, 51

 - Amazon Web Services 20

América Móvil 56

American Tower Corp. 65

Americas

 - Canada 26, 45

 - Latin America 10, 44, 70

 - USA 8, 9, 10, 24, 26, 51, 63, 65

  --  Commerce Department 26

  --  government 26

  --  Government 72

Asia-Pacific 20, 23

 - Australia 24, 26, 58, 59, 60, 61, 74

  --  Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) 60

  --  Competition & Consumer Commission 61, 74

  --  National Broadband Network (NBN) 60

 - China 23, 24, 25, 26, 41, 69, 72

 - India 8, 22, 63, 64, 65, 66, 74

  --  Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) 65

  --  Department of Telecommunications (DoT) 74

  --  Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 65, 66

 - Japan 26

 - New Zealand 26, 66, 67, 68, 71, 74

Astorg Asset Management

 - M7 Group 10

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 61, 74

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 8, 22, 44, 63, 64, 66, 74

B

Banco Santander, SA 21

Bharti Group 64, 74

 - Airtel 63, 64, 65, 70, 74

 - Africa

  --  Ghana 63

  --  Kenya 70

 Bharti Infratel 64, 74

 - Indus Towers 22, 64, 65, 74

British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) 74

British Standards Institute (BSI) 24

BT Group 8, 10, 20, 21, 26, 27, 52, 55

 - BT Global Services 8

 - Openreach 21, 52

C

Capgemini 20

Cisco Systems 16, 42, 43, 44, 73

Comcast Corp. 10

Cukurova Holding

 - Turkcell (see Altimo/TeliaSonera/ separate) 22

D

Dell 9, 27

Dell Technologies 9, 27

 - Dell EMC 9, 27

  --  RSA Security 27

 - VMware 14, 27

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 12

Deutsche Telekom 8, 10, 12, 17, 23, 30, 36, 47

 - Europe

  --  Greece (see OTE) 36

 --  Germany 29, 36

  --  Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 32, 73

  --  UK (EE) 12, 26, 71

 - Investments

  --  Magyar Telekom (see separate) 32, 73

  --  OTE (see separate) 47

 - Systems Solutions

  --  T-Systems 8

E

EE (see DT, FT) 12, 26, 71

Elisa 16, 72

Emblaze Group

 - European Telecom 17

EMC 9, 27

  - RSA Security 27

 - VMware 14, 27

Enel SpA 40

Eni SpA 10

Ericsson 14, 15, 17, 24, 25, 34, 35, 36, 52

Europe 9, 10, 20, 23, 28, 30, 44, 49, 73

 - Austria 10

 - Czech Republic 10, 21, 23, 24, 31, 72

 - Estonia 16

 - Finland 16, 18, 20

 - Germany 6, 24, 29, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 71, 72, 73

  --  Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 29, 30, 31, 73

  --  Government 24

  --  Länder

   ---   North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 34, 36

 - Greece 31, 47

 - Hungary 10, 31, 32, 33, 47, 73

 - Ireland 6, 10, 34, 35, 73

  --  Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) 35

 - Italy 10, 14, 15, 21, 23, 25, 31, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 71, 73

  --  Cassa Depositi e Prestiti 40

  --  Government 39

 - Luxembourg 20

 - Netherlands 10, 31, 37, 42, 45, 73

 - Poland 10

 - Portugal 45, 73

  --  Competition Authority (AdC) 45

 - Romania 10, 15, 31, 46, 47, 73

  --  Autoritatea Naţională pentru Administrare şi Reglementare în Comunicaţii (Ancom/ANC/ ANRCTI/ANRC) 46

 - Spain 23, 25, 26, 48, 49, 50, 51, 72, 73

 - Sweden 15, 34, 36

 - Switzerland 10

 - Turkey 15, 22, 26, 37, 44

 - United Kingdom (UK) 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 21, 25, 26, 27, 37, 52, 53, 56, 71, 72, 73

  --  British Standards Institute (BSI) 24

  --  Office of Communications (Ofcom) 53, 56

European Telecommunications Standards Institute 17

European Union 41

 - European Commission 10, 41, 47

Evolving Systems 27

F

F2i 37

Facebook 22, 44, 71

Ferrari 74

Fiat 10

FiberCo 40

Fininvest S.p.A

 - Mediaset 10

G

Google 22, 71

 - Google Play 71

GSM Association (GSMA) 30, 31, 73

H

Huawei Technologies 14, 15, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 41, 58, 59, 69, 70, 72

Hutchison Whampoa 74

 - Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 24, 58, 59, 60, 61, 74

I

IBM 6, 7, 8, 9, 18, 41, 63, 71, 72

Indus Towers 22, 64, 65, 74

Intel 17

J

JCDecaux Group 52, 53

Juniper Networks 14

K

KPMG International 12

L

Legal & General 16

LG Electronics 16

Liberty Global 10, 47

 - Virgin Media 35

 - Ziggo 44, 73

London Stock Exchange 20

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 32, 73

Market segments

 - Mobile broadband 15

 - Mobile virtual network (MVNA/ MVNE/MVNO) 30, 37

 - M-payment 71

 - Outsourcing 7, 64, 65, 68

 - Value-added services (VAS) 31, 37

 - Voice 43, 45, 66

Microsoft 71

Middle East

 - Iran 26

Millicom International Cellular 10

 - Tigo Ghana 63

Morgan Stanley 47

MTN 27, 63, 68

 - Ghana (Scancom) 63

 - South Africa 68

N

Netcracker Technology 18

Netflix Inc. 51

Nokia 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 27, 41

 - Alcatel-Lucent 18

Novabase SGPS SA 17

NZ Communications

 - 2degrees 22, 66

O

Ofcom (UK) 55

Oger Telecom

 - Cell C 68

Omnicom

 - DDB 66

Orange

 - Kenya (Telkom Kenya, see separate) 70

 - Orange 12, 46, 47, 49, 51, 72

 - Romania 46

 - Spain 49, 51

 - UK (see EE) 12, 26, 71

OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 47

 - Cosmote 36

  --  Greece 36

P

Phones4U 11, 12, 72

PwC 11, 12

Q

Qualcomm 41

R

Regions

 - EMEA

  --  UK 54, 55, 73

 - Latin America

  --  Central America 56

  --  El Salvador 56

  --  Guatemala 56

S

Safaricom 22, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

 - Executives

  --  Rerolle, Thibaud 69

 - M-PESA 17, 68, 70, 71

Samsung 16, 25

SIAE MICROELETTRONICA 13, 14

Singapore Telecom

 - Optus (Australia) 59

Sky Network Television 61

Sopra Group 20

Spotify Ltd 51

Standard Bank 22

Steria Ltd 20

Swedbank 16

Swisscom

 - Fastweb 41

T

Technologies

 - 5G 54, 55, 73

  --  NGN 54

Technology

 - 2.5G 60

 - 2G 33, 43, 46, 53, 60, 63, 68

  --  GSM 30, 73

 - 3G 24, 30, 32, 33, 37, 46, 63, 68

  --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA) MIMO 36

 - 4G 15, 24, 26, 30, 32, 37, 39, 40, 42, 43, 50, 52, 53, 60, 62, 65, 68, 73, 74

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 24, 36, 62

 - 5G 6, 13, 15, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 52, 53, 58, 59, 60, 65, 72, 73, 74 AI 6, 24, 63, 71, 72

 - Cloud computing 6, 7, 8, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 37, 45, 63, 71, 72, 74

 - DSL 36, 50, 51, 73

 - DTH 10

 - Fibre 13, 15, 22, 25, 35, 36, 40, 50, 51, 52, 64, 65, 74

 - FTTP 36, 40

 - IoT 6, 9, 20, 22, 24

 - IP 15, 44, 45

 - Linux 17

 - Open-source 44

 - PC 20

 - RAN 42, 43, 44, 73

 - R&D 25, 26

 - RF 15, 70

 - Spectrum 15, 24, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 41, 47, 53, 56, 58, 60, 62, 63, 65, 73, 74

  --  700 MHz 31, 33, 53, 56, 60

  --  800 MHz 31, 33, 62, 63, 74

  --  850 MHz 60

  --  900 MHz 33, 60, 63

  --  1000 MHz 32, 33

  --  1800 MHz 33, 60, 63

  --  2100 MHz 31, 32, 33, 60, 63, 73

  --  2500 MHz 60

  --  2600 MHz 31, 33

  --  3500 MHz 24, 33

 - USSD 71

 - W-LAN 35

Tele2 50, 51

 - Italy 51

 - Spain 50, 51

Telecom Infra Project 44

Telecom Italia 10, 37, 39, 40, 41, 73

 - Telecom Italia Mobile 37, 40

Telefónica Group 12, 17, 21, 25, 27, 29, 44, 49, 50, 56, 71

 - Europe

  --  Espana 49, 50

   ---   O2 54, 55

  --  UK 12, 21, 54, 71

 - Global Resources

  --  Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure 55

TeliaSonera

 - Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/ separate) 22

Telkom Kenya Ltd (Orange Kenya) 70

Telkom South Africa 68

Telstra 59

Tesco 21

Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 58, 59, 60, 61, 74

T-Systems 8

Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/ TeliaSonera) 22

Twenty-First Century Fox

 - Sky

  --  Sky Italia 40, 41, 73

Twitter Inc. 61, 71

U

Unilever 22

UPC 10, 47

V

Vodacom Group 17, 22, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

 - Congo 62

 - Group 17, 22, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

  --  Mozambique 62

 - Products

  --  Please Call Me 71

 - South Africa 61, 68, 71

 - Tanzania 71

 - Vodacom Business 22, 71

Vodafone

 - Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 57, 74

  --  Africa 20, 57, 70, 74

  --  Asia 20, 23

  --  Australia 24, 26, 58, 59, 60, 61, 74

   ---   VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 24, 58, 59, 60, 61, 74

  --  Ghana 22, 62, 63, 74

  --  India 22, 63, 64, 65, 66, 74

   ---   Indus Towers 22, 64, 65, 74

  --  Kenya (see Safaricom) 22, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

  --  Mozambique 62

  --  New Zealand 22, 26, 61, 66, 67, 68, 71, 74

  --  Pacific 20, 23

  --  South Africa (see Vodacom) 17, 22, 61, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

  --  Turkey 15, 22, 26, 37, 44

 - Corporate

  --  Vodafone Investments

    ---   Luxembourg Sarl (VIL) 74

 - Europe Region 28, 49, 73

  --  Cable & Wireless Worldwide 7, 56

  --  Czech Republic 10, 21, 23, 24, 31

  --  Germany 6, 19, 20, 21, 24, 29, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 71, 72, 73

   ---   KDG Holding GmbH (KabelDeutschland) 21, 37

  --  Greece 31

  --  Hungary 10, 31, 32, 33, 47, 73

  --  Ireland 6, 10, 17, 20, 27, 34, 35, 36, 73

  --  Italy 10, 13, 14, 15, 21, 23, 25, 31, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 71, 73

  --  Netherlands 10, 31, 37, 42, 44, 45, 73

   ---   VodafoneZiggo 10, 42, 45, 73

  --  Portugal 17, 45, 73

   ---   CelFocus (see Novabase) 17

  -- Romania 10, 15, 21, 31, 46, 47, 73

  -- Spain 21, 23, 25, 26, 48, 49, 50, 51, 73

   ---  Grupo Corporativo Ono (ONO) 51 

  -- UK 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 37, 52, 53, 56, 71, 72, 73

  ---  Talkmobile 56

 - Executives

  --  Adams, Jessica 21

  --  Ametsreiter, Hannes 21, 36

  --  Berroeta, Inaki 24, 60

  --  Berry, Brad 9

  --  Bisio, Aldo 25, 39

  --  Brocklesby, Chris 21

  --  Colao, Vittorio 15, 49

  --  Cuba, Yolanda 62

  --  Dama, Bala 22

  --  Essam, Ahmed 20

  --  Heeran, Fran 18, 20

  --  Joosub, Shameel 71

  --  Kuisch, Eric 19, 21

  --  Mack, Gerhard 21

  --  Marnewick, Hymie 22

  --  Paris, Jason 67

  --  Quario, Giulio 13

  --  Read, Nick 6, 19, 25, 48

  --  Reiter, Joakim 65

  --  Ripepi, Alberto 20

  --  Roman, Francisco 48

  --  Rossi, Eva 13

  --  Sardo, Pedro 20, 21

  --  Shields, Delina 22

  --  Suceveanu, Madalina 20

  --  Vast, Virginie 20

  --  Wibergh, Johan 19

 - Ex-executives

  --  Amzallag, David 18

  --  Aue, Mark 22

  --  Banerjee, Siddharth 22

  --  Brunet, Karine 19, 20

  --  Jejcic, Pablo 19, 20

  --  Kolade, Lanre 22

 - Group 9, 16, 20, 22, 44, 64, 74

  --  Partner Markets 16, 17

   ---   Belgium (Proximus) 10, 37

    ---   Estonia (Elisa) 16, 72

   ---   Finland (Elisa) 16, 72

   ---   Kenya (Safaricom) 22, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74

  --  Vodafone Carrier Services 9

 --  Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 9, 16, 20, 22

  --  Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 20

 - Products

  --  Business 8, 9, 16, 20, 72

  --  Call Me 71

  --  Liberty (Malta) 47

  --  One 51

  --  Please Call Me 71

  --  Red 8

  --  Small Business (UK) 21

  --  Vodafone Cloud 6, 7

  --  Vodafone TV 17, 51

 - Project Spring 49

 - Vodafone Foundation 20

Vodafone Group 54, 55, 73

 - UK 54

Z

ZTE Corp. 23, 24, 26, 72

  • Mini-exodus of Group technology figures suggests change afoot.

Fran Heeran, Vodafone’s Group Head of Cloud & Automation, is understood to have handed in his notice at the operator. The executive — who oversees the Group’s cloud networking strategy and architecture — is returning to Nokia to take on a leading role in the Finnish vendor’s Telco Cloud business.

Heeran was at Alcatel‑Lucent (ALU) for nearly five years before leaving for Netcracker in 2016, in the wake of ALU’s takeover by Nokia. He then joined Vodafone one year later, replacing departing Head of Network Virtualisation & Software-Defined Networking David Amzallag (Vodafonewatch, #157).

In mid‑2018, Heeran’s role was expanded to cover all Vodafone’s network and IT cloud infrastructure activities, following a Group Technology reorganisation (Vodafonewatch, #166). This remit includes meeting Vodafone’s headline target of migrating around two-thirds (65%) of its IT applications to the cloud by 2020, and likely would have overseen setup of the Group’s new cloud and hosted services venture with IBM (see separate report).

New regime, new priorities

While Heeran’s move to Nokia appears more pull than push, the somewhat abrupt departure is the latest in a series of senior technology personnel changes at Vodafone, which — along with the increasingly low profile of Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Johan Wibergh — point to a brewing shake-up of IT and network direction at the Group.

Other notable executives to leave Vodafone in recent weeks have included: Pablo Jejcic, Head of the operator’s Cloud and Infrastructure Centre of Excellence; Karine Brunet, Director of Technology Shared Services; and Vodafone Germany CTO Dr. Eric Kuisch (Vodafonewatch, #169).

In late‑2018, the new top‑duo of Chief Executive Nick Read and Chief Financial Officer Margharita Della Valle outlined a raft of new cost‑cutting efforts, in a bid to lance cash flow pressures — including many that delved into the Group’s network and IT infrastructure realm. With Della Valle highlighting a desire to be “much more radical” when slicing cost out of the Group’s business, moves include a prospective shift of national infrastructure management to a new virtual TowerCo and centralisation of network design and operational functions (Vodafonewatch, #168 and #170).

Image: Ericsson

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