Reports reaffirm Group plans for a fully-fledged mobile operation in Zambia, seemingly driven by Partner Markets ally Afrimax Group. This leads on to further questions over how Afrimax and Vodacom Group – both of which are already present in Zambia – can co-exist in the Vodafone stable.

  • Plan dovetails with government enthusiasm for a fourth mobile player.

Zambia was again mooted as a market where Vodafone is seeking to expand its African footprint, although exactly how it intends to do so remained less than clear.

A Bloomberg report suggested Vodafone is “preparing” to bid for a fourth mobile licence the government recently announced plans to auction during the coming twelve months. If secured, this would pit Vodafone against the country’s three incumbent mobile players: Airtel Zambia; market leader MTN Zambia; and national telco Zambia Telecommunications Company.

Head-scratchingly, though, the news agency presented the Group’s move as a plan to “add voice services” to the data products already offered in Zambia by Afrimax Group, the Partner Markets affiliate that runs TD-LTE networks locally (and in Cameroon and Uganda) under the Vodafone brand (Vodafonewatch, #130 and #145).

With Vodafone having no equity in Afrimax, however, the report could be seen as suggesting a new layer of cooperation (and even a business combination) is being prepared for their relationship. Alternatively, it could be the case that the article is part-erroneous and Afrimax itself is planning to bid, rather than Vodafone.

Further, it may merely be that the government, which has repeatedly held the threat of a fourth licence over Zambia’s existing mobile operators, is kite-flying.

Ambitions must tiptoe around an emboldened Vodacom

  • Muddying things further is that Vodacom Group – Vodafone’s primary vehicle for expansion in Africa – has an existing presence in Zambia (via fixed-wireless player AfriConnect Zambia), and has long sought a means to become a fully-fledged mobile operator in the country and expand its international business in general. The report does not mention Vodacom as a player in the supposed move for a licence in Zambia.
  • If Afrimax is indeed pursuing the rights with the aid of the Group Commercial-controlled Partner Markets organisation, this would create an obvious clash with the regional expansion aspirations of Vodacom, and raise further doubts over how long the Afrimax relationship can last without some form of recalibration, such as a buyout or move under the Vodacom umbrella.
  • Vodafone has been at pains to stress that the Afrimax relationship as “complementary” to Vodacom, but there is not only conflict in terms of the Dutch-based provider’s overall mission – to be a “leading provider of high-speed network services in subSaharan Africa” – it also has overlap with Vodacom interests in numerous markets where it holds licences (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone, as well as Zambia, for example). In addition, it competes in Ghana, where Vodafone Ghana is seen as possibly set be brought under Vodacom’s wing (Vodafonewatch, #156).
  • Vodacom has had a long period of flirtation with Zambia‘s mobile market, having evidently identified it as a natural strategic extension of its international footprint, and a physical bridge between Vodacom Democratic Republic of Congo and the Group’s other operations, in Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania (as well as Kenya, following the recent takeover of most of Vodafone’s interest in Safaricom).
  • The operator gained a mobile concession in Zambia during 2002, only for it to be withdrawn following the authorities’ inability to free sufficient 900MHz spectrum for it to launch services (which resulted in legal action). A licence was then reportedly offered to Vodacom in late-2009, after the spectrum issue was resolved – but this coincided with the Group’s freeze on international expansion in the wake of the economic downturn and its 2008 Gateway Communications acquisition debacle (Vodafonewatch, #102 and passim).
  • Vodacom finally entered Zambia by acquiring AfriConnect in 2010, positioning it within its Vodacom Business Africa regional ICT services arm, alongside its other broadband wireless operation, Vodacom Business Nigeria. The provider runs a (2.5GHz-based) WiMAX network and, despite being billed as “Zambia’s market leader for corporate and residential internet services”, is not seen as a major contributor to Vodacom’s overall cash flow.

Partner Markets’ Cameroon affiliate goes offline

The report of Group expansion plans in Zambia came as Vodafone’s partnership with Afrimax took a step back in Cameroon.

Vodafone Cameroon, Afrimax’s local, Partner Markets-backed business, was forced to suspend its data services in mid-September 2017 on the instruction of the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Board, apparently as a result of a licensing terms dispute.

The operator’s services had not resumed as of mid-October 2017, despite a statement from Vodafone Cameroon saying it was holding “working sessions with relevant authorities to ensure a full alignment on the license requirements”.

“ All the necessary actions have been taken by Vodafone management and Afrimax group for an effective and definite resolution of the issue. We are working closely both with the Telecommunications Regulatory Board and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to find a long-term solution to restore the service shortly. We will come back stronger and better with the best 4G LTE network quality experience in Cameroon. ” – Vodafone Cameroon.

Image: © Vodafone.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Deals

Zambia appears on Group radar again [p6]

  • Ambitions must tiptoe around an emboldened Vodacom
  • Partner Markets’ Cameroon affiliate goes offline
  • Table: People movement highlights

IT

Vodafone Turkey reaches line on major BSS overhaul [p12]

  • A happier ending than other convergence-led IT refits
  • Back from the brink
  • Table: Vodafone Turkey long-term trends overview, FY09-17
  • Fighting fit
  • Breaking trail
  • Spotting the curveballs
  • Table: Vodafone Turkey BSS transformation project overview
  • The personal touch

Group Commercial

Red Edge expanding behind scenes, targets APAC [p18]

  • A first step outside Europe

Legal and regulatory

Colao’s “itchy feelings” about Brussels prove prescient [p19]

  • EU-surped
  • You don’t like consolidation, do you Brussels?
  • Suggested code revisions not all bad for Vodafone?

Supply chain

Vodafone ties with American quartet on AI [p22]

  • Care and networks provide the focus for AI
  • Vodafone’s new business model – network reduction
  • Group still looking in-house for data dollars

VMware lifts lid on Group NFV win… [p24]

  • Table: Partner/supplier people movement highlights
  • … and ties with IBM to give Cloud & Hosting Services a leg up

Profile

Allot [p26]

  • Breaking out of the capex vault
  • Biography: Erez Antebi
  • Customer focus
  • Virtual reality
  • New IoT and video use-cases
  • Operators remain central
  • Vodafone Secure Net: next steps
  • Table: Vodafone Secure Net availability, October 2017

EUROPE REGION

Ireland

SIRO pulls out of National Broadband Plan tender [p33]

Netherlands

 Ericsson extends Dutch networks tie-up [p34]

  • Accompanying kit deal includes LTE for Machines
  • A challenge-filled deal backdrop

Portugal

Vodafone boosts broadband cred with NOS tie-up [p36]

  • Partial win
  • Table: Portugal converged operator user comparison, 30 June 2017
  • We’re close, but not that close
  • Mix and match
  • Table: Vodafone European wireline rollout and regulatory agenda
  • Raised hackles over Altice media-expansion plan

Spain

VfS brings DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade live [p41]

  • Other markets in pipeline
  • Table: Gigabit Vodafone checklist

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AND ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

Australia — Vodafone Hutchison Australia

VHA preps Vodafone TV release [p44]

  • Table: Vodafone TV customer base comparison by market (‘000)
  • New Zealand also a Vodafone TV target
  • NBN plus
  • Hutch reaffirms Total Comms ambition
  • Table: Selected Vodafone OpCo “4.5G” tests and rollouts (500Mbps and above)

VHA jumps on Massive MIMO bandwagon [p47

  • VHA knows the recipe but can it afford the ingredients?

Egypt

VfEg ties with Openwave on video management [p50]

New Zealand

VfNZ takes 400Gbps metro route with Ciena [p51]

  • Ciena feet under Group table

Vodacom Group

Safaricom pushes back against Vodacom control [p52]

  • Safaricom and Vodacom not yet BFFs
  • Table: Prospective Safaricom ownership, post-2017 Vodacom transaction
  • M-PESA unshackled: A less-Vodafone-based future emerges, and this may not be a bad thing
  • Power play as M-PESA goes OTT
  • The geo-political angle

VdSA moves focus to LAA amid 4G spectrum squeeze [p55]

  • Lukewarm on LAA
  • On the spectrum back-foot

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 51

A

Aditya Birla Group
Idea Cellular 8
Africa 6, 7, 9, 10, 40, 48, 49, 50
Congo 7, 49
– Egypt 46
– Ghana 7, 42
National Communications Authority 42
Kenya 7, 9, 44, 48, 49, 50
– Lesotho 7, 49
– Mozambique 7, 49
– Nigeria 7, 49
– South Africa 7, 9, 10, 24, 44, 46, 48, 49, 51
– Sub-Sahara 7
– Tanzania 7, 49
– Uganda 6
– Zambia 6, 7, 8, 49
Afrimax Group 6, 7, 8
Alcatel-Lucent 10
Alfa Group
Altimo (Alfa Telecom International Mobile)
Turkcell (see Curkurova/TeliaSonera/separate) 13
Allot Communications 25, 26
Altice Group 34, 38
Amazon.com Inc. 21
Amdocs 11, 14, 20
American Tower Corp. 8
Americas
Canada 8, 47
– Latin America 29
– USA 18, 21, 26, 28, 47
Apple 24
Asia-Pacific 10, 17
Australia 17, 24, 41, 43, 44, 45
Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) 45
– – National Broadband Network (NBN) 43
China 17, 20, 21
– Fiji
Commerce Commission 46
India 8, 17, 22, 43, 45
Licence Circles
Haryana 45
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 43
Japan 17, 48, 51
– Malaysia 49
– New Zealand 17, 42, 46, 47
Commerce Commission (New Zealand) 46
Singapore 8, 17, 49
AT&T 20, 47
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)
India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 8
– Singapore (Mobile One, see separate) 33

B

Betfair Group plc (The Sporting Exchange) 9
Bharti Group 8, 43
Airtel 6, 8, 42, 43
Africa
Ghana 42
Bharti Infratel 8
Indus Towers 8, 22
Bosch Group, The 34
Bridge Mobile Pte. Ltd. 10
BT Group
Openreach 37

C

China Mobile 20
China Telecom 20
Ciena Corp. 47
Cisco Systems 20, 22, 35
Cukurova Holding
Turkcell (see Altimo/TeliaSonera/separate) 13

D

Dell 23
Deutsche Telekom
Europe
Netherlands 35
– – UK (EE) 24
Germany 24, 37
– USA 10
Drillisch AG 20
du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications) 15

E

EE (see DT, FT) 24
Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) 32, 37
Emblaze Group
European Telecom 20
EMC 23
VMware 20, 23, 24
Enel SpA 37
Ericsson 20, 33, 44
Europe 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 29, 31, 36, 37, 39, 44, 51
Albania 29
– Czech Republic 18, 37, 44
– France 34, 49
– Germany 18, 20, 22, 24, 29, 32, 34, 37, 42, 44, 50
Länder
Bavaria (Munich) 34
– – – North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 34, 44
Greece 29, 37, 42
– Hungary 17, 18, 37
– Ireland 17, 18, 22, 24, 29, 32, 37, 44
Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) 37
Italy 17, 20, 21, 29, 37, 44
– Luxembourg 17, 21
– Malta 44
– Netherlands 7, 17, 20, 33, 35, 37, 44
– Portugal 15, 18, 29, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44
ANACOM 35, 38
Romania 29, 37, 44
Autoritatea Naţională pentru Administrare şi Reglementare în Comunicaţii (Ancom/ANC/ANRCTI/ANRC) 37
Russia 17
– Spain 17, 29, 33, 37, 39, 42, 44
– Sweden 33
– Turkey 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 29, 44, 45, 51
– United Kingdom (UK) 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 24, 29, 37, 44, 49
Office of Communications (Ofcom) 37
European Union 9, 17, 18, 20, 32
European Commission 18, 20, 38
– European Parliament 18, 20

F

Facebook 21, 50
Forthnet 37

G

GigaSpaces Technology 20
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd 26
Goldman Sachs 18, 21, 43
Google 21, 46
Gmail 46
– Google Mail (Gmail) 46
– YouTube 28

H

Huawei Technologies 14, 20, 22, 39, 44, 49, 51
Hutchison Whampoa 24, 43, 45
Hutchison 3G Australia Pty Ltd 43, 45
– Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Ltd (Hutchinson Telecom/HTHKH/3 Hong Kong) 43, 45
– Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 24, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

I

IBM 20, 21, 23, 24
Iliad 20
Indus Towers 8, 22
Infrastructure Development Finance Corp. (IDFC, India) 8
Intel 20
McAfee 29
IOL 38

J

Juniper Networks 23

K

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts 8
Deutsche Glasfaser 37
KPN 37

L

Liberty Global 32, 33
UPC Germany GmbH
Unitymedia GmbH 32, 37
Virgin Media 37
– Ziggo 33, 35, 37, 42

M

Mahindra Group
Tech Mahindra 20
Market segments
Fixed broadband 34
– Mobile broadband 41, 51
– Mobile data 44, 46
– Network-sharing 34, 37
– Outsourcing 22
– Over-the-top (OTT) 43, 50
– Value-added services (VAS) 26, 35
– Voice 6, 21, 35, 39, 43
McKinsey & Co 9
Metroweb S.p.A. 37
Microsoft 46
Middle East
Egypt 46
– Israel 25, 26
Millicom International Cellular
Tigo Ghana 42
Mirambo Ltd 47
Mobile One (Singapore) 33
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. 51
MTN 6, 42, 51
Ghana (Scancom) 42
– South Africa 51

N

Naspers Limited (MIH Group) 48
Netcracker Technology 10
Netflix Inc. 28, 43
Nokia 20, 24, 45
Novabase SGPS SA 12
NTT 48
Dimension Data 48
Internet Solutions 48

O

Oger Telecom
Cell C 10
Open Network Automation Platform 20
Openwave Systems 46
Oracle 11, 14
Siebel Systems 14
Orange
Orange 20, 37
– Spain 37
– UK (see EE) 24

P

Promotora de Informaciones, S.A. (Grupo PRISA)
Media Capital 38
Televisão Independente (TVI) 38
Proximus Group
Belgacom Mobile NV/SA (Proximus) 35

Q

Qualcomm 44, 51

R

RCS & RDS SA 37
Red Hat 24

S

Safaricom 7, 9, 15, 44, 48, 49, 50
Ex-executives
Joseph, Michael 9, 50
M-PESA 48, 49, 50
SEACOM 9, 10
Singapore Telecom
Optus (Australia) 45
Sky Network Television 42
Sonaecom
Optimus 36, 37
Sprint Nextel 10
Supreme Court 37, 43
Swisscom
Fastweb 37

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc 37
TDC 10
Technology
2.5G 7, 45
– 2G 7, 45
GPRS 45
3G 18, 39
Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)
MIMO 44, 45, 51
4G 8, 39, 42, 45, 51
Long Term Evolution (LTE) 8, 33, 37, 42, 51
LTE TDD 6
WiMAX 7
5G 18, 33, 39, 41, 44, 45
– BSS 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
– Cloud computing 17, 20, 23, 24, 39
– CRM 10, 39
– Data centre 47
– DSL 37
– Ethernet 47
– Fibre 9, 13, 20, 32, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 47
FTTC 37
– – FTTP 34, 36, 37
FMC 11
– FTTH 37, 39
– GPRS 45
– IP 41, 47
– IPTV 41, 42
– Linux 20
– M2M 43
– Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 33, 34, 39
– NGN 34, 36
– PC 28
– R&D 26
– SIM 24
– Smartphone 24, 25, 34
– Spectrum 7, 18, 20, 41, 42, 44, 45, 51
700 MHz 41, 45, 51
– – 800 MHz 42, 51
– – 850 MHz 45
– – 900 MHz 7, 45, 51
– – 1800 MHz 44, 45, 51
– – 2100 MHz 44, 45
– – 2500 MHz 7, 45
– – 2600 MHz 44, 51
– – 3500 MHz 18
Tablet 28, 34
– Telematics 17
– VDSL 37
– W-LAN 29, 35, 48
Tele2 20
Telecom Italia 37
Telefónica Group 9, 29, 37
Europe
España 37
– – UK 9
Telekom Networks Malawi Ltd (TNM) 10
TeliaSonera
Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/separate) 13
Telstra 43, 45
Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 41
TIBCO Software Inc. 14
Turkcell (see Alfa/Curkurova/TeliaSonera) 13
TVI 38

U

UPC 37

V

Vocus Communications 43
Vodacom Group 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 22, 24, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51
Congo 7, 49
– Ex-executives
Santos, Jose dos 10
Gateway Communications 7, 49
– Group 6, 7, 9, 12, 22, 47, 48, 49, 51
– Lesotho 7, 49
– Mozambique 7, 49
– South Africa 7, 9, 10, 24, 44, 46, 48, 49, 51
– Tanzania 7, 47, 49
– Vodacom Business 7, 10, 49
AfriConnect Zambia Ltd 7, 49
Vodafone
Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 39, 40
Africa 7, 9, 10, 40, 49, 50
– – Asia 10, 17
– – Australia 17, 24, 41, 43, 44, 45
VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 41, 42, 43, 44, 45
Egypt 9, 22, 46
– – Ghana 7, 42
– – India 8, 17, 22, 43, 45
Indus Towers 8, 22
Kenya (see Safaricom) 7, 9, 15, 44, 48, 49, 50
– – Mozambique 49
– – New Zealand 9, 10, 17, 39, 42, 46, 47
TelstraClear 42
Pacific 10, 17, 41
– – South Africa (see Vodacom) 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 22, 24, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51
– – Turkey 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 29, 44, 45, 51
Koç.net 13
Corporate
Vodafone International Holdings BV 49
Europe Region 31
Albania 29
– – Cable & Wireless Worldwide 37
– – Czech Republic 18, 37, 44
– – Germany 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 29, 32, 34, 37, 39, 42, 44, 50
KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 37, 39, 42
Greece 29, 37, 42
Hellas On Line (HOL) 37, 42
Hungary 9, 17, 18, 37
– – Ireland 9, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 29, 32, 37, 42, 44
Complete Telecom 37
– – – SIRO 32, 37
Italy 9, 17, 20, 21, 22, 29, 37, 41, 42, 44
– – Malta 44
– – Netherlands 17, 20, 33, 35, 37, 42, 44
VodafoneZiggo 33, 35, 39, 42, 44
– – – Wiericke 37
Portugal 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 29, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44
CelFocus (see Novabase) 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Romania 29, 37, 44
– – Spain 17, 29, 33, 37, 39, 42, 44, 45, 46, 51
Grupo Corporativo Ono (ONO) 37, 39, 42
UK 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24, 29, 37, 44, 45, 49
Executives
Baird, Tony 47
– – Berry, Brad 9
– – Colao, Vittorio 12, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 43
– – Cramer, Warrick 21
– – Cuba, Yolanda 42
– – Deegan, Colman 12
– – Gastaut, Stefano 9
– – Hassim, Fatima 9
– – Heeran, Fran 10, 23
– – Joosub, Shameel 51
– – Joseph, Michael 9, 50
– – Mottram, Phil 9
– – O’Leary, Anne 32
– – Read, Nick 17
– – Resmini, Enrico 9
– – Sheehan, Anne 9
– – Timuray, Serpil 12
– – Wibergh, Johan 39
Ex-executives
Amzallag, David 10
– – Clarke, Richard 9
– – Geldmacher, Jan 10
– – Herbison, Craig 10
– – Knook, Pieter 10
– – Panos, Arthur 10
– – Rook, Ivo 10
– – Smith, Andrew 9
– – Tennyson, Richard 10
Group 10, 18, 24, 25, 36
Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 10
– – Marketing
Internet Services 10
– – – ZYB (Imity) 9
Partner Markets 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14
Africa (Afrimax) 6, 7, 8
– – – Belgium (Proximus) 35
– – – Hong Kong (Hutchison Telecom) 43, 45
– – – Kenya (Safaricom) 7, 9, 15, 44, 48, 49, 50
– – – Scandinavia (TDC) 10
– – – United Arab Emirates (du) 15
Vodafone Automotive (formerly Cobra Automotive Technologies) 9, 17
Autoconnex 17
Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 10
– – Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 21
Tomorrow Street 21
Vodafone Ventures 21
Products
360 10
– – Europe 37
– – International (UK) 49
– – Liberty (Malta) 32, 33, 37
– – Money Transfer 50
– – Red 14, 17, 24, 46
– – Small Business (UK) 9
– – Vodafone TV 41, 42
– – ZYB 9

W

WPP 10
G2 Worldwide 49, 50

X

Xero 9

Y

YouGov plc 8

Z

ZTE Corp. 20

About

About Vodafonewatch

Report: #159
Published: October 2017
Next report: November 2017
For more information visit: Vodafonewatch