Vodafone appears to have quietly expanded its Partner Markets relationship with Chilean telecoms group Entel, to cover the latter’s Peruvian business.

The as-yet-unannounced move — which extends Vodafone’s presence into a third South American market, beyond Brazil and Chile — will see Vodafone collaborate with Entel Perú on areas such as enterprise services, roaming, and procurement.

This extends a relationship with Entel that stretches back to 2008, and follows on from the Chilean player’s acquisition of Nextel de Perú from US-based wireless group NII Holdings.

IoT undercurrent

As well as the stock Partner Markets focus on enterprise services and roaming, the deal may well have an Internet of Things (IoT) element, with Vodafone having quietly acquired a mobile virtual network operator licence in Chile in 2016, presumably to offer IoT services over Entel’s network (Vodafonewatch, #147 and #148).

Vodafone’s other South American Partner Markets relationship, with Brazil’s Datora Telecom, is also primarily IoT-focused (Vodafonewatch, #147 and passim). Beyond the Datora partnership, Vodafone has a further IoT presence in Brazil via Cobra do Brasil Serviços de Telemàtica — a local, 70%-owned subsidiary of Vodafone Automotive, inherited through the Group’s 2014 buyout of Italian connected car player Cobra Automotive (Vodafonewatch, #124).

Paddington returns to Peru

Vodafone Group remains noticeably coy on how its various Latin American ventures are progressing.

These interests do not seem particularly significant in terms of revenue contribution or strategic importance, and remain well short of the reach Vodafone enjoyed through an earlier Partner Markets relationship with regional giant América Móvil, which ended around 2009 (Vodafonewatch, 2009.06). At that time, the arrangement covered eight regional territories, including Brazil and Peru.

The Group’s low-level visibility in Latin America intermittently sees it mooted for M&A opportunities in the region, and predominantly in Brazil — although no deal has ever materialised for a Group that remains notably anti-footprint expansion in terms of its core telecoms offering.

Image: Àlex Moreno Fuster / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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About Vodafonewatch

Report: #162
Published: February 2018
Next report: March 2018
For more information visit: Vodafonewatch