After six months of “difficult” negotiations, the Qatari OpCo reached a compromise with vendors deemed to have played a role in its major network outage of July 2017. The deal offers relatively sizeable compensation but comes with strings attached and unanswered questions.

Vodafone Qatar (VfQ) said it had secured QAR 90m (£17.9m/EUR20.2m) in ‘compensation‘ from equipment suppliers following a long negotiating process stretching back to its July 2017 network calamity (Vodafonewatch, #158 and #159).

In its latest quarterly results statement, published in mid-January 2018, the OpCo confirmed it had reached what it called a “commercial settlement” with the unspecified network vendors deemed responsible for the fault, which stemmed from an outage on the operator’s Home Location Register during an upgrade.

A give-and-take agreement…

As mooted previously, and highlighted by VfQ’s description of the deal as a “commercial” one, the suppliers concerned could be seen as having received a level of reward, rather than punishment, by guaranteeing repeat business through the settlement.

The QAR 90m is not a straight cash payout, but comprises QAR 25m in credit notes and QAR 65m in credit vouchers, which VfQ said will be “utilised in the future”. No further information was disclosed on terms and conditions attached to those facilities, nor how and when VfQ plans to use them. One item that remains unclarified is whether VfQ will use the funds to address weaknesses in its infrastructure that were highlighted by the outage – or whether these have been covered separately and the OpCo now has ‘new’ resource to boost future capital expenditure (capex).

… but still a handy fillip for challenged VfQ

Although coming with strings attached, the settlement offers a considerable fiscal boost for VfQ, if only in terms of its headline number. It represents more than a quarter (QAR 311m) of VfQ’s annual capex and more than three-quarters of free cash flow (QAR 116m), based on figures for its last fiscal year, to 31 March 2017. It also outweighs the net profit dip (-QAR 40m) it reported in the three months to 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY17), when the outage took place.

Although the full financial impact of the fallover will not become clear until VfQ issues fuller data, the OpCo’s Chief Executive Ian Gray claims it has made a “strong recovery” from the failure, helped by the swift launch of customer loyalty programme YOU FIRST. It stemmed subscriber losses during Q3 2017, reporting a 1.39 million base at the end of the quarter. This was 1, 000 higher than at the end of Q2 2017, which saw the loss of 75, 000, predominantly owing to the network outage.

As noted previously, VfQ has not revealed the identities of vendors involved in the compensation talks, but Nokia is one provider likely to be tied into the situation. Nokia’s 2016 acquisition Alcatel-Lucent previously flagged its position as VfQ’s main wireline and mobile infrastructure vendor (although last provided a detailed update on their relationship in 2010 – Vodafonewatch, #88).

Image: Florian Wehde / Unsplash.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Q3 FY17-18

Management update

Group goes shopping again to alleviate Europe drudge [p6]

  • Table 1: Vodafone and Liberty Global footprint comparison
  • Figure 1: Vodafone Netherlands and VodafoneZiggo revenue trend, FY15-18
  • Jigsaw not yet complete
  • Table 2: Vodafone Europe Region OpCo mobile-wireline broadband user base weighting, at 30 September 2017 (‘000)
  • Table 3: Vodafone Group, revenue summary, Q3 FY17-18

Headline numbers — lacking veneer [p9]

  • Table 4: Mobile data analysis for twelve selected OpCos, Q3 FY17-18 (terrabyte)
  • ‘If you ignore this… and this… and this… we did kind of OK’

GROUP

Deals

Vodafone fills one LatAm gap with expansion into Peru [p12]

  • Paddington returns to Peru

Group Commercial

Vodafone puts on a new look in Canada [p13]

  • Not just an enterprise satellite office

People and supplier highlights

  • Table 5: People movement highlights
  • Table 6: Partner/supplier people movement highlights

EUROPE REGION

Germany

VfD maps out automated driving with Bosch, Huawei [p19]

  • Cruise control on C-V2X steroids
  • Telefónica accelerates on -V2X
  • HERE we go
  • The smart-city angle
  • On the road to autonomous driving

VfD unveils Gigabit LTE in Hamburg, Hanover [p23]

  • Going for a bundle

Italy

VfIt brings 4.5G to capital [p24]

  • Table 7: Selected Vodafone OpCo “4.5G” tests and rollouts (500Mbps and above)
  • Figure 2: 5G Momentum Index: Vodafone global ecosystem, to January 2018

Netherlands

Worries over spectrum auction delays and lack of 3.5GHz [p27]

  • Table 8: Spectrum holdings of Dutch mobile network operators, 2017
  • Ifs and buts
  • Table 9: User base comparison, selected Dutch telecoms players, at 30 September 2017 unless stated
  • What about 3.5GHz?
  • In bed with Ericsson
  • Table 10: LTE-M can do some things better than NB-IoT

VfZ commits to nationwide LTE-M [p30]

  • Good LTE-M vibrations

UK

Cityfibre CEO preps for house-to-house FTTP combat [p32]

  • VfUK an unlikely upstart
  • Nuts and bolts of the Cityfibre tie-up
  • A canny deal, but no fait accompli

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AND ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

Qatar

VfQ softens outage blow with vendor credit deal [p36]

  • A give-and-take agreement…
  • … but still a handy fillip for challenged VfQ

Turkey

Vodafone and Huawei progress on 2G-4G spectrum meld [p38]

  • Working in the air

Vodacom Group

Vodacom slams ECA Bill over spectrum uncertainty [p39]

  • WOAN for the money

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 17, 19, 20, 21, 30
5G Automotive Association 22

A

Acision 12
Aditya Birla Group
– Idea Cellular 9
Africa 15, 16, 35
– Egypt 10, 15, 37
– Kenya 25
– South Africa 10, 16, 25, 39, 40
– – Government 39
– – Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) 40
Alcatel-Lucent 37
América Móvil 13
Americas
– Brazil 12, 13
– Canada 13, 16
– – Export Development Canada 13
– Caribbean 6
– Chile 12
– Latin America 6, 12, 13
– Peru 12, 13
– South America 12
– USA 12, 13, 22, 31
– – States
– – – Califormia 12, 13, 15
Argyle Data 12
Asia-Pacific 15, 16
– Australia 25, 36
– – National Broadband Network (NBN) 36
– China 23
– India 8, 9, 10, 16, 19, 37, 38
– – Department of Telecommunications (DoT) 39
– – Licence Circles
– – – Karnataka 38
– New Zealand 39
– Singapore 16
AT&T 31
Automobile Association 30
Avanti Communications Group plc 15, 16
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)
– India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 9
– Malaysia (Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd) 31
– Singapore (Mobile One, see separate) 30, 31

B

Bertelsmann Group 16
Bharti Group
– Indus Towers 9, 38
BMW Group 21, 22
Bosch Group, The 19
Brightstar Corp. 31
BT Group 32
– Openreach 32, 34

C

Carlyle Group 15
Carrefour Group 20
Citigroup 15
CityFibre 33
CommScope Inc. 31
Comverse Technology 12
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
– Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 21

D

Datora Telecom 12
Deutsche Telekom 6, 7, 20, 22, 27, 28
– Europe
– – Netherlands 27
– Germany 19, 20, 23

E

Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) 34
Enel SpA 34
Entel PCS 12
Ericsson 21, 22, 25, 29, 30
Etisalat 37
– Etisalat Misr (Egypt) 37
Europe 6, 9, 10, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 29, 31, 32, 34
– Albania 6, 8
– Austria 6, 7
– Czech Republic 6, 7, 8, 25
– Finland 24
– France 10, 24
– Germany 6, 7, 8, 10, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 31, 34
– – Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 20
– – Länder
– – – Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart) 7
– – – Bavaria (Munich) 22
– – – Berlin 23
– – – Hamburg 23
– – – Hesse (Wiesbaden) 7
– – – Lower Saxony (Hanover) 23
– – – North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 23, 25
– Greece 6, 8, 10, 20
– Hungary 6, 7, 8
– Ireland 6, 8, 21, 24, 25, 34
– Italy 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 21, 22, 24, 25, 34
– Luxembourg 13
– Malta 6, 8, 25
– Netherlands 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
– – Government 29
– – Ministry of Economic Affairs 27, 29
– Poland 6
– Portugal 6, 8, 10, 25
– Romania 6, 7, 8, 10, 25
– Spain 6, 8, 9, 10, 20, 25, 30, 32, 38
– Sweden 15, 29
– Switzerland 6
– Turkey 10, 25, 38
– United Kingdom (UK) 6, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 25, 31, 32, 33, 38
European Automotive-Telecom Alliance 22
European Union 20
– European Commission 22, 27, 29

G

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) 22
Gemalto NV 22
Google
– Gmail 39
– Google Mail (Gmail) 39
GSM Association (GSMA) 16, 19, 30
– Mobile World Congress 31

H

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 30
Huawei Technologies 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 38
Hutchison Whampoa
– Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 8, 15, 16, 36

I

Iliad 10
Indus Towers 9, 38
Intel 15, 21, 22

K

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
– Deutsche Glasfaser 34
KPN 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

L

Liberty Global 6, 24, 27, 28
– UPC Germany GmbH
– – Unitymedia GmbH 7
– Virgin Media 6, 34

M

Market segments
– Fixed broadband 28, 36
– Mobile broadband 38, 40
– Mobile data 25, 28
– Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 10
– Value-added services (VAS) 23, 24
– Voice 10, 30
MediaTek Inc. 22
Middle East 16
– Egypt 10, 15, 37
– Qatar 16, 36
Mobile One (Singapore) 30, 31
MTN 39, 40
– South Africa 40

N

NCR 15
Neul 22
Nokia 17, 21, 22, 24, 30, 37

O

Oger Telecom
– Cell C 40
Oracle 15
Orange
– Orange 31

P

Prudential plc
– M&G 34

Q

Qualcomm 17, 22, 25

R

Rogers Communications 13, 16

S

Sabre 15
Safaricom 25
Samsung 22
Sequans Communications 22, 31
Singapore Telecom 16
– Optus (Australia) 16
SK Telecom 22
Spreadtrum Communications Inc. 22
Sprint Nextel 12
Strax 31
Syngenta AG 15

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc 34
Technology
– 2G 29, 38
– – GPRS 38
– – GSM 16, 19, 30, 38
– 3G 27, 29, 36
– – Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)
– – – MIMO 21, 25, 38
– 4G 19, 24, 29, 31, 38
– – Long Term Evolution (LTE) 10, 19, 23, 30, 31, 38
– 5G 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 36
– Billing 16
– Cloud computing 29, 37, 40
– Femtocell 10
– Fibre 23, 24, 32, 34
– – FTTP 32, 33, 34
– FMC 24
– FTTH 32, 34
– GPRS 38
– IP 23
– M2M 29
– MMS 10
– Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 22, 30, 31
– PC 37
– R&D 22, 38
– RF 40
– Smartphone 23, 37
– Spectrum 8, 17, 21, 23, 27, 28, 29, 36, 38, 39, 40
– – 700 MHz 27, 40
– – 800 MHz 23, 28, 38, 40
– – 900 MHz 28, 38
– – 1000 MHz 27, 29
– – 1800 MHz 23, 25, 28, 38
– – 1900 MHz 28
– – 2100 MHz 27, 28, 29
– – 2600 MHz 23, 25, 28, 38, 40
– – 3500 MHz 27, 29, 36
– W-LAN 24
Tele2 27, 28
– Netherlands 27
Telecom Egypt 37
Telefónica Group 19, 20, 22, 24
Telenor ASA 24
Telit 22
Telkom South Africa 39
Trend Micro Inc. 37

U

u-blox 22
UBS 15
UPC 6, 7

V

Verizon Communications 8, 31
– Verizon Wireless 8, 31
Vodacom Group 10, 15, 25, 39, 40
– Group 10, 15, 39, 40
– South Africa 10, 16, 25, 39, 40
– Vodacom Business 15
Vodafone
– Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 9, 15, 35
– – Africa 15, 16, 35
– – Asia 15, 16
– – Australia 25, 36
– – – VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 15, 16, 36
– – Egypt 10, 15, 37
– – Ghana 16
– – India 8, 9, 10, 16, 19, 37, 38
– – – Indus Towers 9, 38
– – Kenya (see Safaricom) 25
– – Middle East 16
– – New Zealand 39
– – Pacific 15
– – Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 15, 16, 36, 37
– – South Africa (see Vodacom) 10, 15, 16, 25, 39, 40
– – Turkey 10, 25, 38
– Europe Region 9, 10, 18
– – Albania 6, 8
– – Cable & Wireless Worldwide 13
– – Czech Republic 6, 7, 8, 15, 25
– – Germany 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 31, 34
– – – KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 7
– – Greece 6, 8, 10, 20
– – Hungary 6, 7, 8
– – Ireland 6, 8, 12, 15, 21, 24, 25, 34
– – Italy 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 21, 22, 24, 25, 34
– – Malta 6, 8, 15, 25
– – Netherlands 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31
– – – VodafoneZiggo 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30
– – Portugal 6, 8, 10, 16, 25
– – Romania 6, 7, 8, 10, 25
– – Spain 6, 8, 9, 10, 19, 25, 30, 32, 38
– – UK 6, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34, 38
– Executives
– – Al Azhary, Rasha 15
– – Albertyn, Eben 29
– – Ametsreiter, Hannes 23
– – Berroeta, Inaki 36
– – Colao, Vittorio 9, 10
– – Dvorak, Petr 15
– – El Ayouti, Marwa 15
– – Fernandes, Jorge 16
– – Gray, Ian 37
– – Haas, Ingrid 16
– – Hoencamp, Jeroen 29
– – Ibbetson, Luke 17
– – Jeffery, Nick 16, 32
– – Joosub, Shameel 39
– – Mirza, Asim 16
– – Petty, Scott 16
– – Rao, Mallik 38
– – Read, Nick 9
– – Tenorio, Santiago 30
– – van Graan, Errol 15
– – Wibergh, Johan 15
– Ex-executives
– – Harper, Alan 16
– – Morrow, Bill 36
– – Whitehill, Kyle 15, 16
– – Wiles, Andrew 16
– Group 9, 15
– – Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 13
– – Headquarters 31, 38
– – Marketing
– – – Terminals 31
– – Partner Markets 12, 13
– – – Belgium (Proximus) 6
– – – Brazil (Grupo Datora Telecom/Vodafone Brasil) 12
– – – Chile (Entel PCS) 12
– – – Kenya (Safaricom) 25
– – – Malaysia (Celcom) 31
– – R&D 17
– – – Joint Innovation Lab (with China Mobile, SoftBank Corp., and Verizon Wireless) 20
– – Strategy
– – – Total Communications 16
– – Vodafone Automotive (formerly Cobra Automotive Technologies) 12
– – Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 15, 16
– – Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 13
– – – Tomorrow Street 13
– – – Vodafone Roaming Services 15
– – Vodafone Ventures
– – – Argyle Data (see separate) 12
– – xone 12
– Investments & Associates
– – Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 8, 31
– Products
– – Europe 8
– – Liberty (Malta) 6, 7, 8, 9, 24, 27, 28
– – marque 13
– – Mobile Broadband 22
– – Mobile Connect 19
– – One 24
– – Red 20
– – Terminals
– – – 236 8
– – Vodafone Cloud 37
– – Vodafone TV 24
– Project Spring 8
Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 15, 16, 36, 37

About

About Vodafonewatch

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