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Vodafonewatch
This release
: #172
February 2019: 66pp
Releases/year: 10+
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Executive brief

Management update

Q3 FY18-19: More fighting talk from Read as slump continues [p.6]

  • New CEO Read's reshuffle still in train
  • Headlines -- too many passengers
  • Table: Vodafone Group revenue summary, Q3 FY18-19
  • Consistency continues to elude
  • Table: Vodafone Europe Region revenue summary, Q3 FY18-19
  • 'AMAP' becomes 'Rest of World'
  • Table: Vodafone Rest of the World Region service revenue summary, Q3 FY18-19
  • Vodafone increasingly becoming 'Europe plus Vodacom, etc'

Group

Deals: Vodafone opts against regional tower spin-out [p.14]

  • 5G network rethink taking precedent
  • Med match-ups
  • Table: Vodafone Europe Region tower assets

Legal and Regulatory: Vodafone hands auditing reins to EY [p.17]

  • Phones 4u shadow
  • Crying foul

Network: IBM tie-up to include Vodafone Cloud reboot [p.19]

  • Table: Vodafone IoT Partner Network by speciality, February 2019

People [p.22]

  • Table: people movements

Supply Chain: Vodafone changes tack in Huawei security storm [p.25]

  • Let's talk
  • UK pressure mounts but German mood music softens; Ireland and Italy hold firm

Suppliers [p.30]

  • Table: Partner/supplier people movement highlights

Europe Region

Germany: VfD ups pressure on BNetzA to change 5G course [p.33]

  • What's all the fuss about?
  • Dommermuth makes his move

Casa Systems highlights DOCSIS 3.1 role [p.36]

UK: Group's hands-dirty savings drive expands to UK [p.39]

Rest of the World Region

Australia: VHA merger with TPG under renewed scrutiny [p.42]

  • Urge to merge
  • Watchdog on guard

Egypt: Telecom Egypt digs in over Vodafone ties [p.45]

Ghana: Vodafone Ghana bats off local float talk [p.47]

India - Vodafone Idea: VfI trumpets early progress in network meld [p.48]

  • Vodafone Idea makes push on NB-IoT smart-metering
  • Other NB-IoT irons in the fire
  • Vodafone Idea to launch new music app
  • Fostering partnerships to drive value

Vodacom Group: Vodacom remains on hold for SA's 4G auction [p.54]

  • Read happy with WOAN dilution
  • Airtel and Telkom to merge to create a stronger challenger to Safaricom

Further reading

Index

A

Accenture 21

Acciona

 - ENDESA 37

Aditya Birla Group

 - Idea Cellular 49, 52

Africa 9, 11, 12, 22, 23, 30, 57, 61

 - Egypt 11, 45, 46, 61

 - Ghana 47, 61

 - Kenya 23, 56, 57, 61

   --  Government 56

 - North Africa 23, 24

 - South Africa 11, 24, 51, 54, 55, 57, 58

 - Sub-Sahara 57

Alfa Group

 - Altimo (Alfa Telecom International Mobile)

 - Turkcell (see Curkurova/TeliaSonera/separate) 35

Altice Group 37

Altran Technologies, SA 30

Amazon.com Inc. 53

Americas

 - USA 29, 35, 37

 - States

  --  Washington 29

Apple 52

Asia Mobility Initiative (AMI Alliance) 50

Asia-Pacific 52

 - Australia 12, 24, 29, 30, 42, 43, 44, 51, 61

 - China 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 43

 - India 12, 24, 48, 50, 51, 52, 56, 61

  --  Licence Circles

   ---   Andhra Pradesh 48

   ---   Assam 48

   ---   Chennai 51

   ---   Delhi 49

   ---   Haryana 48

   ---   Himachal Pradesh 48

   ---   Jammu & Kashmir 48

   ---   Kolkata 48, 49

   ---   Madhya Pradesh 48

   ---   Mumbai 48, 49

   ---   North East 48

   ---   Rajasthan 50

   ---   West Bengal & Andaman and Nicobar 48

 - New Zealand 12, 24, 30, 59

 - Singapore 37

 - Taiwan 37

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 42, 44, 61

Avanti Communications Group plc 24

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 12, 24, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 61

B

Bain & Co. 24

Banco Santander, SA 24

Bharti Group 52, 56

 - Airtel 52, 56, 61

 - Africa

  --  Kenya 56, 61

 - Bharti Enterprises

 - Comviva Technologies (Bharti Telesoft) 24

British American Tobacco 23

BT Group 24, 26, 27, 28, 37

Bundesliga 37

C

Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd 57

CarePay 57

CGI Group Inc. 21

Ciena Corp. 30

Coca-Cola 23

Commercial Bank of Africa 57

Cukurova Holding

 - Turkcell (see Altimo/TeliaSonera/separate) 35

D

Dell 21, 22, 24

Dell Technologies 21, 22, 24

 - Dell EMC 21, 22

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 17, 18

Deutsche Telekom 9, 28, 34, 40

 - Europe

  --  UK (EE) 18, 28

Device Insight 21

DIEHL Metering 21

Drillisch AG 35, 60

E

EE (see DT, FT) 18, 28

Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) 29

EMC 21, 22

Ericsson 22, 23, 26, 30, 38, 40, 49

Ernst & Young 17

Europe 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 40, 60

 - Central Europe 22

 - Czech Republic 22, 51

 - Finland 28, 34

 - France 22, 30, 57

 - Germany 8, 9, 10, 16, 22, 25, 28, 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 51, 59, 60

  --  Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 33, 34, 60

   ---   Government 28

   ---   Länder

  --  Bavaria (Munich) 36

  --  North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 40

 - Greece 10, 16, 51

 - Hungary 22

 - Ireland 10, 16, 23, 28, 37, 51

 - Italy 6, 8, 10, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 37, 51, 59

  --  Government 29

 - Luxembourg 37

 - Netherlands 16, 35, 51

 - Poland 37

 - Portugal 10, 16, 37, 38, 60

 - Romania 10, 22, 23

 - Russia 22

 - Scotland 20

 - Spain 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 23, 24, 28, 38, 51, 60

 - Sweden 22, 23

 - Turkey 9, 11, 12, 16, 22, 28, 38, 51

 - Ukraine 22

 - UK 7, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 37, 38, 39, 40, 59, 60

  --  Ofcom 40

European Union

European Commission 22

F

F5 Networks Inc. 30

Flint Group

 - Mobius 21

Ford Motor Company 22

Formula One 37

G

Google 52

Google Play 52

Grant Thornton UK LLP 21

GSM Association (GSMA) 27, 38, 40, 59

 - Mobile World Congress 27

H

Helios Investment Partners 56

Hisense Electric Co., Ltd. 21

Huawei Technologies 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, 37, 40, 42, 43, 49, 59, 61

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd 52

Hutchison Whampoa

 - Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 12, 24, 30, 42, 43, 44, 61

I

IBM 19, 24

iDefigo 21

Iliad 10

Ingenico S.A. 21

Inseego 21

J

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. 38

K

Kenya Commercial Bank 57

KPMG International 18

KPN 35

L

Liberty Global 22, 35

 - UPC Germany GmbH

 - Unitymedia GmbH 36, 37

 - Virgin Media 37

LinkedIn Corp. 22

M

Mahindra Group

 - Tech Mahindra 21

Market segments

 - Fixed broadband 44

 - Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 35

 - Network-sharing 15

 - Over-the-top (OTT) 35, 53

 - Value-added services (VAS) 24, 45

 - Voice 35, 38, 49

McKinsey & Co 6

Microsoft 20, 23, 24

Middle East 22, 24, 61

 - Egypt 11, 24, 45, 46, 61

 - Qatar 12

MTN 47

 - Ghana (Scancom) 47

N

Nationwide Building Society 24

Nedbank Group Ltd (Nedcor) 57

Netflix Inc. 53

NFL Enterprises LLC 37

Nokia 26, 28, 29, 30, 34, 49, 59

Numerex Corp. 21

NXT 53

O

Ooredoo 35

Orange

 - Kenya (Telkom Kenya, see separate) 56, 61

 - Orange 15

 - Spain 15

 - UK (see EE) 18, 28

P

Pearson plc 24

PepsiCo Inc. 22, 23

Phones4U 17, 18, 59

PwC 17, 18, 59

Q

Qualcomm 21, 40

S

Safaricom 23, 46, 56, 57, 61

 - M-PESA 57

Samsung 26

Siemens 35

SoftBank Corp. 24

Sony Corp. 24

 - Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. 24

Spotify Ltd 52

Standard Bank 57

T

Tech Data 21

Technology

 - 2G 55

  --  GSM 27, 38, 40

 - 3G 34, 55

  --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

  --  MIMO 48

 - 4G 30, 34, 40, 46, 48, 51, 54, 55, 60, 61

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 38, 40

  --  VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) 38

 - 5G 9, 10, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 35, 40, 43, 55, 59, 60

 - AI 20

 - Cloud computing 19, 22, 38

 - Data centre 19

 - Fibre 15, 22, 23, 29

 - IoT 20, 21, 50, 51, 61

 - IP 38

 - Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 21, 50, 51

 - RAN 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 48

 - R&D 26, 28, 50

 - Smartphone 40

 - SMS 40

 - Spectrum 34, 35, 38, 43, 48, 54, 55, 60, 61

  --  700 MHz 43, 55

  --  800 MHz 40, 47, 54

  --  900 MHz 55

  --  1800 MHz 38, 55

  --  2100 MHz 55

  --  2600 MHz 54

  --  3500 MHz 55

 - Telematics 21

  - VDSL 9

 - W-LAN 38

Tele Columbus 35

Telecom Egypt 45, 61

Telecom Italia 15

Telefónica Group 9, 15, 18, 33, 34, 60

 - Europe

  --  UK 15, 18

TeliaSonera

 - Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/separate) 35

Telit 21

Telkom Kenya Ltd (Orange Kenya) 56, 61

Telstra

 - Hong Kong CSL Limited 21

Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 30, 42, 43, 44, 61

Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/TeliaSonera) 35

U

u-blox 21

UEFA 37

 - Champions League 37

Unilever 22

United Internet 9, 33, 35, 60

 - 1&1 Internet 9

V

Vodacom Group 7, 9, 11, 12, 23, 24, 46, 47, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61

 - Group 7, 9, 11, 12, 23, 46, 47, 54, 56, 57, 58, 61

 - Lesotho 57

 - Products

  --  Please Call Me 58

 - South Africa 11, 24, 51, 54, 55, 57, 58

 - Tanzania 24, 47

 - Vodacom Business 23

Vodafone

 - Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 7, 9, 11, 12

  --  Africa 9, 11, 12, 22, 23, 30, 57, 61

  --  Asia 52

  --  Australia 12, 29, 30, 42, 43, 44, 51, 61

   ---   VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 30, 42, 43, 44

  --  Egypt 11, 12, 24, 45, 46, 61

  --  Ghana 12, 47, 61

  --  India 12, 24, 48, 50, 51, 52, 56, 61

  --  Japan 24

  --  Kenya (see Safaricom) 23, 46, 56, 57, 61

  --  Middle East 22, 24

  --  New Zealand 12, 24, 30, 37, 59

   ---   TelstraClear 37

  --  Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 12, 46

  --  South Africa (see Vodacom) 7, 9, 11, 12, 23, 24, 46, 47, 51, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61

  --  Turkey 7, 9, 11, 12, 16, 22, 28, 38, 51

    ---   Board of Directors

    ---   Nish, David 17

  --  Europe Region 7, 8, 9, 12, 32, 60

  --  Czech Republic 22, 51

  --  Germany 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 22, 24, 25, 28, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 51, 59, 60

   ---   KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 36

  --  Greece 10, 16, 51

   ---  Zelitron 21

  --  Hungary 22

  --  Ireland 10, 16, 23, 28, 29, 37, 40, 51

   ---   SIRO 29, 59

  --  Italy 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 37, 51, 59

  --  Netherlands 16, 35, 38, 51

   ---   VodafoneZiggo 16, 37, 38

  --  Portugal 10, 16, 37, 38, 60

  --  Romania 10, 22, 23

  --  Spain 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 28, 37, 38, 51, 60

   ---   Grupo Corporativo Ono (ONO) 23, 37

  --  UK 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 37, 38, 39, 40, 59, 60

   ---   Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd 15, 16

  -  Executives

   --  Badrinath, Vivek 7, 22

  --  Bisio, Aldo 29

  --  Coimbra, António 23

  --  Colao, Vittorio 6, 7, 10, 12

  --  Della Valle, Margherita 6, 39

  --  Gliddon, Nick 51

  --  Heeran, Fran 38

  --  Hitchcock, Albert 24

  --  Humphries, Brian 22

  --  Joosub, Shameel 7, 54, 57

  --  Lorilloux, Murielle 23

  --  Mensah, Gayheart 47

  --  Parbutt, Nick 22

  --  Paris, Jason 30

  --  Read, Nick 6, 7, 14, 19, 25, 39, 55

  --  Roman, Francisco 23

  --  Schellekens, Ronald 22, 23

  --  Sharma, Balesh 52

  --  Stanica, Gabriela 23

  --  Teggart, Sean 23

  --  Timuray, Serpil 7, 16

  --  Vishant, Vora 49

 - Ex-executives

  --  Humm, Philipp 12

 - Group 9, 22, 24, 30, 38, 59

 - Headquarters 30, 39, 40

 - Partner Markets 20, 21

  --  Belgium (Proximus) 37

  --  Kenya (Safaricom) 23, 46, 56, 57, 61

  -- Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 22

  -- Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 14

  -- Vodafone Ventures

   --- Device Insight (see separate) 21

 - Products

   ---   At Home 36, 37, 60

   ---   Business 19, 22

   ---   Casa 36, 37, 60

   ---   Europe 10, 16

   ---   GigaTV 35

   ---   Liberty (Malta) 22, 35

   ---   Mobile Broadband 26, 40

   ---   Please Call Me 58

   ---   Vodafone Cloud 19

Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 46

Volkswagen 35

W

Wipro 24

Z

ZTE Corp. 29, 30, 59

  • Highly political process may be nearing resolution.

Vodacom Group continued to project hope that its long wait to secure a more extensive 4G spectrum platform in its home market will shortly be over.

Shameel Joosub, Chief Executive (CEO) of Vodacom Group, said he was “encouraged” by what he called a “firm commitment” from the South African (SA) government to move ahead with the planned auction of 800MHz and 2.6GHz (and potentially other) concessions, although noted political barriers were still muddying the timetable. He cited the November 2018 appointment of Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as SA’s new Minister of Communications, Telecommunications & Postal Services as having added to delays, as she was still getting to grips with the “complexity of the combined departments, and so on”.

He was also “hopeful” – but seemingly not unequivocal– that the auction would happen before SA’s coming general election, due to take place in early-May 2019.

“Within the first six months of this calendar year, [the auction] should happen. ” – Joosub.

 

Read happy with WOAN dilution

Joosub’s tone of qualified optimism was echoed by Vodafone CEO Nick Read during the Group’s latest quarterly results call.

Intimating that solutions are being found to the disagreements that have long surrounded the auction, Read sought to assert that he was “seeing the right conversations taking place” in SA’s political circles following the start of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tenure in February 2018.

In particular, he added to signs of a growing sense of positivity within Vodafone that SA’s government is diluting commitment to the idea of setting up a 4G spectrum-equipped Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN), likely reducing the number of airwaves made available to Vodacom South Africa (VdSA) and rival operators through the coming auction. Echoing similar signals from Joosub in late-2018 (Vodafonewatch, #169), Read claimed the WOAN was getting “re-discussed as to whether it’s the right thing”, and stressed the importance of VdSA gaining as much spectrum access as possible through the auction, to improve cost efficiency and address SA’s “challenging macroeconomics” (see separate report).

“We hope for good news this year that we go ahead with an auction and we get enough at an appropriate price. ” – Read.

Adding to the positive noises from Joosub and Read were further signals that the WOAN plan is in the process of being significantly watered down by SA’s government. Local reports suggested the government was set to drop a particularly contentious element of the scheme – that of forcing operators to return existing spectrum concessions to support the entity’s introduction (Vodafonewatch, #158 and passim).

It remains unclear, however, how far the WOAN plan has been diluted, and how numerous other areas of contention for the auction – such as pricing, allocation, and possible partition of some airwaves for a new (retail) entrant – are playing out. The SA authorities have yet to confirm whether the ‘4G‘ auction has now been kicked so far down the road it has now morphed into a ‘4G/5G‘ sell-off, with 700MHz airwaves seemingly tabled for sale via the auction, and 3.5GHz rights coming up for liberalisation in 2020. In the meantime, VdSA remains reliant for service delivery on ‘2G‘ (900MHz/1800MHz) and ‘3G‘ licences (2.1GHz) – placing it behind most of Vodacom’s international units, and giving it one of the thinnest spectrum portfolios across Vodafone as a whole.

The WOAN idea has come under fierce criticism from Vodacom and other operators since it was first aired, as far back as 2012 (Vodafonewatch, #98). To its opponents, the scheme represents an illegal attempt by the government to meddle with the private sector. Critics have also warned that the pooled spectrum model is untested elsewhere. The government has argued, however, that the WOAN would help enable a national integrated ICT policy and meet broadband targets set out in its South Africa Connect programme. Its goal is to ensure nationwide broadband access for all citizens by 2020, and deliver universal download speeds of 100Mbps by 2030.

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