Vodafonewatch
This release
: #178
August 2019: 54pp
Releases/year: 10+
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Executive brief

Management update

Q1 FY19-20: Clear-out stepped up as Liberty buyout goes through [p6]

Some positivity, but changes and challenges ahead

Disjointed data

Table: Vodafone Group, revenue summary, Q1 FY19-20

Europe Region: Italy reviving but Spain still in pain; Germany holds fort

Table: Vodafone Europe Region, service revenue summary, Q1 FY19-20

And the Rest: Vodacom not past challenges

Table: Vodafone Rest of the World Region, service revenue summary, Q1 FY19-20

Deals

Group

Deals: Vodafone targets Deutsche Telekom for tower tie-up [p13]

Time of essence for Vodafone…

…but DT's Höttges plays hard to get

Around the markets

Vodafone in talks on wholesale 2G/3G switch [p18]

Club Med getaway

2G or not 2G

Liberty deal approval triggers Deutsche Telekom [p21]

Final act for Group synergy play

Legal and regulatory

Network

People

Table: People movement highlights

Social Responsibility

Supply chain

Europe Region

Germany: VfD goes large on 5G coverage [p29]

Speeds and caps

Huawei in the game

Read likes speed tiering

Coverage? Much obliged

5G roaming up and running in Europe, and Rest of the World in sights too

Vodafone's lunar 4G project loses thrust [p32]

Still on a mission

Ireland: SIRO gets €200m funding boost [p34]

Broadband catch-up

Germany

Italy

Netherlands

UK: More detail on Phones 4u 'price-fixing' controversy [p37]

Who said what to whom?

Peers respond

Wider probe urged

Rest of the World Region

India: VfI remains leery of 5G reserve prices [p43]

Pricey 3.5GHz

Terms and conditions

India: Amdocs gets on board with VfI IT meld [p45]

Australia -- Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Ghana

Vodacom Group: Ethiopian opportunities in pipeline [p47]

Format not clear but interest evident

South Africa becomes ninth V by Vodafone territory

Further reading

A

Africa 7, 8, 10, 11, 24, 26, 48

Egypt 8, 10, 11

Ethiopia 47, 48, 52

Ghana 46, 52

Kenya 11

Nigeria 46

South Africa 8, 10, 11, 25, 48, 49

Tanzania 11, 52

Amazon.com Inc. 40

Amdocs 45, 52

Americas

Latin America 11

USA 24, 26

Anheuser-Busch 38

Apple 38, 48

App Store 48

iPhone 38

Arqiva 26

Asia-Pacific 26

Australia 6, 11, 24, 26, 46, 52

China 26, 27

Fiji 11

India 6, 10, 11, 17, 26, 36, 43, 44, 45, 52

DoT 44, 52

Licence Circles

Madhya Pradesh 39

Reserve Bank of India 44

TRAI 43, 44, 52

New Zealand 50

RBI 44

South Korea 36

AT&T 27

ACCC 46

Aviva plc 25

B

Bharti Group 17, 43

Airtel 17, 43, 47, 52

Africa 47

Bharti Infratel 17

Indus Towers 17

BNP Paribas S.A. 34

British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) 40

BT Group 11, 25, 27, 35, 38

EE (see DT, FT) 37, 38, 39

C

China Mobile 27

CK Hutchison Holdings

VHA (Vodafone) 11, 26, 46, 52

Comcast Corp. 40

D

Deutsche Telekom 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 26, 27, 29, 31, 36, 37, 50, 51

Diageo plc 38

Digital Route AB 26

Dixons Carphone 38

Drillisch AG 14, 31

E

Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) 34

Ericsson 31, 36, 45, 48, 52

Etisalat 47

Europe 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 25, 28, 31, 33, 50, 51

Albania 17

Czech Republic 17, 21, 30

Germany 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31, 33, 36, 49, 50, 51

BNetzA 31, 51

Greece 9, 17, 49

Hungary 17, 21, 30, 50

Ireland 9, 11, 17, 34, 35, 38, 49, 51

Italy 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 24, 36, 49, 50, 51

Luxembourg 16

Malta 17

Netherlands 14, 17, 25, 36, 51

Portugal 9, 17, 49

Romania 9, 17, 21, 30, 50

Spain 8, 9, 11, 15, 25, 30, 31, 49

Sweden 11, 26

Turkey 8, 10, 24, 25, 49

United Kingdom (UK) 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 23, 24, 25, 37, 38, 39, 40, 49, 50, 51

FCO 23

Ofcom 40

European Space Agency 33

European Union 50

European Commission 21, 22, 30, 50

F

Fastweb (Swisscom) 16

Flytxt 25

Ford Motor Company 23

Fujitsu 23

G

Google 24, 48

GSM Association (GSMA) 36, 46

H

HSBC 34

Huawei Technologies 30, 48

I

IBM 45

Infratil Ltd 11

IPCom 23

K

KPN 17

L

Liberty Global 6, 11, 21, 22, 25, 30, 50

Virgin Media 40

M

MasterCard 48

McGraw-Hill Companies, The

Standard & Poor s (S&P) 22, 50

Middle East 24

Egypt 8, 10, 11

Qatar 11

MTN 24, 25, 26, 47, 48, 52

N

NatWest 34

Netflix Inc. 40

Nike Inc. 24

Nissan 26, 38

Nokia 33, 45

NTT 27

O

Oger Telecom

Cell C 48

Oracle 25

Orange 11, 15, 37, 47, 52

P

Pearson plc 26

Phones4U 37, 38, 39, 51

PTScientists 32, 33, 51

PwC 37

Q

Qantas Airways Ltd 26

R

Renault 38

Royal Bank of Canada 34

S

Safaricom 26, 44, 46, 48

Samsung 30

Singapore Telecom 27

Optus (Australia) 46

SK Telecom 27

Sunrise 38

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc 25

Tanla Solutions 26

Tata Communications 24

Technology

2G 7, 16, 18, 19, 36, 44, 48

GSM 36, 46

3G 7, 16, 18, 19, 36, 43, 44, 48

4G 10, 16, 23, 29, 30, 32, 36, 38, 43, 48

LTE 27, 32, 36

5G 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 43, 44, 50, 51, 52

Cellular Vehicle to Everything 23

Cloud computing 26, 47

Fibre 17, 22, 34, 35

IoT 19, 23, 27, 49

NB-IoT 23

SIM 29, 30

Smartphone 29, 30, 48, 49

Spectrum 10, 19, 43, 44, 52

700 MHz 29, 44, 51

800 MHz 44

1800 MHz 44

2500 MHz 44

3500 MHz 36, 43, 44

TIM (Telecom Italia) 16, 18, 19, 27, 50

Telefónica Group 11, 13, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 36, 37, 39, 50

Vivo Participacoes SA 18, 19

TeliaSonera 27

Telkom South Africa 48

Telstra 46

Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 6, 11

The Royal Mencap Society 27

Thomson Reuters Corp. 52

U

UniCredit Group 24

Unilever 26

United Nations 27

V

Verizon Communications 26, 27, 38

Vocus Communications 26

Vodacom 8, 10, 24, 25, 26, 47, 48, 49, 52

Group 8, 10, 25, 47, 48, 49, 52

South Africa 8, 10, 11, 25, 48, 49

Tanzania 11, 47

Vodafone

Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 8, 10

Africa 7, 8, 10, 11, 24, 26, 48

Asia 26

Australia 6, 11, 24, 26, 46, 52

Egypt 8, 10, 11

Ghana 24, 25, 26, 46, 52

India 6, 10, 11, 17, 26, 36, 43, 44, 45, 52

Indus Towers 17

Kenya (see Safaricom) 11, 26, 48

Middle East 24

New Zealand 6, 11

Pacific 26

Qatar 11

South Africa (see Vodacom) 8, 10, 11, 24, 25, 26, 47, 48, 49, 52

Turkey 8, 10, 24, 25, 49

Board of Directors

Kleisterlee, Gerard 7

Corporate

Vodafone Investments Luxembourg Sarl (VIL) 52

Europe Region 9, 13, 15, 28, 31, 51

Albania 17

Czech Republic 17, 21, 30

Germany 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 49, 50, 51

Greece 9, 17, 49

Hungary 17, 21, 26, 30, 50

Ireland 9, 11, 17, 22, 26, 31, 34, 35, 38, 49

SIRO 34, 35

Italy 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 31, 36, 49, 50, 51

Malta 17

Netherlands 14, 17, 322, 25, 36, 51

Portugal 9, 17, 24, 26, 49

Romania 9, 17, 21, 26, 30, 31, 50

Spain 8, 9, 11, 15, 25, 30, 31, 36, 49

UK 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 49, 50, 51

CTIL 13, 14, 17, 50

Executives

Ametsreiter, Hannes 29

Berroeta, Inaki 26

Della Valle, Margherita 7

Essam, Ahmed 24

Graham, Kenny 24

Joseph, Michael 26

Kumar, Vinod 24

Lal, Namrata 24

McDonald, Nick 24

Read, Nick 6, 11, 13, 18, 21, 24, 30, 40

Sharma, Balesh 43, 44

Temple, Rebecca 24

Wood, Leanne 26

Ex-executives

Colao, Vittorio 26

Cramer, Warrick 24

Cuba, Yolanda 25

Donovan, Paul 26

Fernández, Antonio 25

Gangotra, Amrita 26

Humphries, Brian 24

Laurence, Guy 37, 38

Martins de Oliveira, Sara 24

Rao, Mallik 25

Group 8, 26, 50, 51

Americas 24

Partner Markets 11, 24

Belgium (Proximus) 36

Kenya (Safaricom) 26, 48

VPC 16, 24

Tomorrow Street 24

Vodafone Ventures 24

Products

Business 24, 27, 45

Cash 46

Europe 9

GigaTV 22

Lifestyle (Ireland) 26

Mobile Connect 36

Red 40

Small Business (UK) 25

Terminals

540 35

V by Vodafone 49

Vodafone TV 25, 40

Volkswagen 33

W

WPP 40

Z

ZTE Corp. 48

  • FTTH JV counts on extra funding to meet 450,000 homes-passed target.

SIRO, Vodafone Ireland’s (VfIr) wholesale fibre joint venture (JV) with the country’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB), received a much-needed financial boost. The JV raised €200m (£183m) from a syndicate of international banks, including BNP Paribas, HSBC, NatWest, Royal Bank of Canada, and Ulster Bank.

SIRO has already spent €250m on its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, and had previously indicated it needed a fresh cash injection. In an accounts filing with Ireland’s Companies Registration Office for the year to 31 December 2017 (FY17), SIRO said VfIr and the ESB had agreed to postpone repayment of €96m in loans to the JV, originally tabled for settlement on 30 November 2018 (Vodafonewatch. #170). The parent companies were also said to have provided SIRO with an unspecified amount of additional financing since the end of FY17. SIRO added that acquisition of external financing was another possibility.

Broadband catch-up

SIRO said the extra funding will be used to “accelerate” its business plan of connecting 450,000 premises to a fibre access network capable of delivering 1Gbps downlink speeds. The immediate aim is to deepen operations in Cork and Galway, and to better compete with incumbent eir in Dublin’s suburbs.

Like most large-scale infrastructure projects, SIRO’s deadlines have slipped. John Keaney, Chief Executive (CEO) of SIRO, told the Irish Times in late-July 2019 that the JV had covered 250,000 premises. This is well short of its original “phase one” target of passing 500,000 homes and businesses by 31 December 2018.

The CEO nonetheless put a positive spin on progress since the JV was launched in 2015. “From a standing start, that’s a significant build”, he said. “When we started, we had just the agreement that we could access the electrical infrastructure — that was it; there were no people, there were no contracts, there were no systems, no customers”, he added.

Keaney also presented SIRO as well placed, competitively. According to figures quoted in the Irish Times, incumbent eir has passed 300,000 homes with FTTH, while National Broadband Ireland — the vehicle set up to deliver the state-backed National Broadband Plan — aims to cover 540,000 homes. Taking into account the existing 250,000 homes covered by SIRO, that still leaves one million homes to play for. Sticking to the original “phase one” target, Keaney indicated SIRO can cover 200,000 of them, leaving it with an overall 25% market share of homes passed with FTTH.

On the flipside, Keaney did not disclose when the 250,000 premises coverage target might now be met. Further, SIRO’s current take-up rate of 18% (the JV has 45,000 customers through its retail partners) is not high. “Take-up takes time”, insisted the CEO. He anticipated overall take-up rates will rise to between 25% and 30% once the SIRO footprint becomes more established. “We’ve got towns that are more mature — Dundalk, Letterkenny, Drogheda — that are now in [the] mid-30s”, said Keaney.

SIRO is tied to about ten service providers that are bringing its services to customers, including Airwire, BT Ireland, Carnsore Broadband, Digiweb, eNet, Kerry Broadband, Rocket Broadband, Sky Ireland, and WestNet, in addition to VfIr itself.

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