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Corporate Background

Template:Infobox Company

Vodafone (the name stands for VOice-DAta-FONE) is a multinational mobile phone operator with headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom and Düsseldorf, Germany. It is the largest mobile telecommunications network company in the world by turnover, with equity interests in 27 countries and Partner Networks (networks in which it has no equity stake) in a further 14 countries.

At 30 June 2005 Vodafone had 165.0 million proportionate customers in 27 markets across 5 continents. ("Proportionate customers" means for example that if Vodafone has a 30% stake in a business with a million customers that is counted as 300,000). At 30 June 2005, there were 450.9 million total venture customers. On this measure it is the second largest mobile telecoms group in the world behind China Mobile. The six markets where it had more than ten million proportionate customers were: Germany; United States; Italy; United Kingdom; Japan; Spain. In the U.S these customers came via its minority stake in Verizon Wireless, and in the other five markets Vodafone had majority controlled subsidiaries.

Vodafone is listed on the London Stock Exchange as Vodafone Group (Template:Lse) and New York Stock Exchange, symbol VOD.

Vodafone in Europe

Vodafone currently operates in the following countries in the European region:

Country Network Name (former) Ownership Proportionate Number of Customers Market Share Official Website Other Local Competitor/s
Albania Vodafone 99.9% 670,000 48% www.vodafone.al AMC
Austria A1 0% -- 39.4% www.a1.net T-Mobile, One, Telering, 3
Belgium Proximus 25.0% 1,077,000 48.7% www.proximus.be Base, Mobistar
Croatia VIPnet 0% -- www.vipnet.hr T-Mobile
Cyprus Cytamobile-Vodafone 0% -- www.cytamobile-vodafone.com Areeba
Czech Republic Oskar Vodafone 99.9% 1,949,000 18% www.vodafone.cz Eurotel, T-Mobile
Denmark TDC Mobil 0% -- 41.4% www.tdcmobil.dk Sonofon, Telia, 3
Estonia Elisa Oyj (Radiolinja) 0% -- www.elisa.ee Tele2, EMT
Finland Elisa Oyj (Radiolinja) 0% -- 30% (2003) www.elisa.fi Sonera, Finnet
France SFR 43.9% 7,101,000 36% www.sfr.fr Orange, Bouygues Télécom
Germany Vodafone (D2) 100% 27,720,000 37% www.vodafone.de T-Mobile, E-Plus, O2
Greece Vodafone (Panafon) 99.8% 4,160,000 34.8% www.vodafone.gr Cosmote, TIM Hellas, Q Telecom
Hungary Vodafone 100% 1,797,000 20.94% www.vodafone.hu T-Mobile, Pannon GSM
Iceland Og Vodafone 0% -- 32% (2003) www.ogvodafone.is Síminn, Viking Wireless
Ireland Vodafone (Eircell) 100% 1,981,000 54% www.vodafone.ie O2, Meteor, 3
Italy Vodafone (Omnitel) 76.9% 17,499,000 35% www.vodafone.it TIM, Wind, 3
Lithuania Bité (mobile operator) 0% -- www.bite.lt Tele2, Omnitel
Luxembourg LUXGSM 0% -- 64% (2003) www.ept.lu Tango (Tele2), VOXmobile
Malta Vodafone (Telecell) 100% 170,000 55% (2003) www.vodafone.com.mt Go Mobile
Netherlands Vodafone (Libertel) 99.9% 3,860,000 23% www.vodafone.nl KPN, T-Mobile, Orange
Poland Plus GSM 19.6% 1,545,000 33% www.plusgsm.pl Orange, Era
Portugal Vodafone (Telecel) 100% 3,663,000 36% www.vodafone.pt TMN, Optimus
Romania Connex-Vodafone 99.1% 5,203,000 47% www.vodafone.ro Orange, Cosmorom
Slovenia Si.mobil-Vodafone 0% -- 23.4% www.simobil.si Mobitel, Vega
Spain Vodafone (Airtel) 100% 11,840,000 29% www.vodafone.es movistar(Telefonica's mobile arm), Amena,
Sweden Vodafone (Europolitan) 100% 1,524,000 16% (2003) www.vodafone.se Telia, Tele2, 3, Spring Mobil
Switzerland Swisscom 25.0% 1,008,000 62% www.swisscom-mobile.ch Orange, TDC, Tele2
United Kingdom Vodafone 100% 15,489,000 24% www.vodafone.co.uk O2, Orange, T-Mobile, 3
* Local company with more than 50% being owned by the parent company is considered a Subsidiary; Ownership of less than 50% makes the local company an Affiliate. Local companies without ownership at all are Partners.


  • 1985-01-01: First phone call on Vodafone United Kingdom's analogue network. This event was staged, due to a network failure; the first calls actually being made the next day. The first call was made to Vodafone head office - which was at that point above a curry house in Newbury, where the company remains today (but now in a custom-built HQ building).
  • October 1991: Racal Telecom is demerged from Racal Electronics and becomes Vodafone Group.
  • June 1992: Vodafone Germany's (still as "Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH") network went live.
  • July 1992: Vodafone United Kingdom's GSM network went live.
  • September 1992: Vodafone Sweden's network went live.
  • October 1992: Vodafone Portugal's (still as "Telecel, Comunicações Pessoais, SA") network went live.
  • July 1993: Vodafone Greece's network went live.
  • July 1993: Vodafone Ireland's GSM network went live, as Eircell; a ETACS network had operated from ~1985.
  • September 1995: Vodafone Italy's (still as "Omnitel") network went live.
  • November 1995: Vodafone Spain's (still as "Airtel") network went live.
  • Company introduces new logo, known as the Speechmark, as it is a quotation mark in a circle; the O's in the Vodafone logotype are opening and closing quotation marks, suggesting conversation. The logo often appears on the outline of a SIM card.
  • 1999 Merger of AirTouch Communications, Inc. (AirTouch) and Vodafone Group, Plc. (Vodafone)
  • February - April 2000: Vodafone enters German market by buying mobile network operator Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH & Co KG. The deal is one of the largest in European history.
  • 2001-04-16 First 3G voice call on Vodafone United Kingdom's 3G network.
  • 2001: Vodafone took over Eircell, then part of eircom in Ireland and rebranded it Vodafone Ireland.
  • 2001-2002: Vodafone acquired Japan's third largest mobile operator J-Phone, which had introduced camera phones first in Japan.
  • 17 December 2001: Vodafone intoduces the concept of "Partner Network" by signing TDC Mobil of Denmark. The new concept involves the introduction of Vodafone international services to the local market, without the need of investment by Vodafone. The concept would be used to extend the Vodafone brand and services into markets where it does not have stakes in local operators.
  • 2 February 2002: Finland is added into Vodafone's mobile community, as Radiolinja is signed as a Partner Network. Radiolinja later changed its named to Elisa.
  • 2002: Vodafone rebranded Japan's J-sky mobile internet service as Vodafone live!™ as its mobile customer portal
  • 3 December 2002: Vodafone brand is introduced in the Estonian market with signing of a Partner Network Agreement with Radiolinja (Eesti). Radiolinja (Eesti) would later change its name to Elisa.
  • 7 January 2003: Vodafone signed a group-wide PArtner agreement with mobilkom austria. As a result, Vodafone adds Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia in it's partner network.
  • 16 April 2003: Og Vodafone is introduced in the Icelandic market. The company is the result of the partnering of Og with Vodafone.
  • 21 July 2003: Lithuania is added to Vodafone's worldwide network, with the signing of a Partner Netwrok agreement with Bité.
  • 16 February 2004: Vodafone signed a Partner Network Agreement with Luxembourg's LuxGSM
  • 20 February 2004: Vodafone signed a Partner Network Agreement with Cyta of Cyprus. Cyta agreed to rename its mobile phone operations to Cytamobile-Vodafone.
  • November 2004: Vodafone introduced 3G services into Europe.
  • June 2005: Vodafone increased its participation in Romania's Connex to 99%. Vodafone also bought Czech mobile operator Oskar.
  • 1 July 2005: Oskar of Czech Republic is rebranded as Oskar-Vodafone
  • 17 October 2005: Vodafone Portugal launches a new corporate logo, dropping the speech mark in the O's of the company name, and using the colour silver instead of white, but still retaining the red background. Also, various operating companies start to drop the use of the SIM card pattern in the company logo. (The rebranding of Oskar-Vodafone and Connex-Vodafone also does not use the Sim Card pattern.)
  • 28 October 2005: Connex in Romania is rebranded as Connex-Vodafone
  • 31 October 2005: Vodafone reached an agreement to sell Vodafone Sweden to Telenor, the largest provider of telecommunications services in Norway, for approximately Euro 1 billion. The sale will be completed by the end of calendar year 2005. After the sale, Vodafone Sweden will become a Partner Network of the Vodafone Group, Plc.

Vodafone in Asia-Pacific

Vodafone currently operates in the following countries in the Asia-Paficic region:

Country Network Name (former) Ownership Proportionate Number of Customers Market Share Official Website Other Local Competitor/s
Australia Vodafone 100% 2,891,000 18% www.vodafone.com.au Telstra, Optus
China China Mobile 3.3% 8,250,000 65% www.chinamobile.com China Unicom
Fiji Vodafone 49% 80,000 100% www.vodafone.com.fj
Japan Vodafone (J-Phone) 97.7% 14,620,000 18% www.vodafone.jp DoCoMo, KDDI
Hong Kong SmarTone-Vodafone 0% -- www.smartone-vodafone.com.hk Hutchison, People's, etc
India AirTel 10% 1,400,000 22% http://www.airtelworld.com
New Zealand Vodafone (BellSouth) 100% 1,929,000 54.8% www.vodafone.co.nz Telecom
Singapore M1 0% -- 35% www.m1.com.sg SingTel, Starhub
* Local company with more than 50% being owned by the parent company is considered a Subsidiary; Ownership of less than 50% makes the local company an Affiliate. Local companies without ownership at all are Partners.


  • July 1993: BellSouth New Zealand's network went live.
  • October 1993: Vodafone Australia's network went live.
  • July 1994: Vodafone Fiji's network went live.
  • November 1998: Vodafone purchased BellSouth New Zealand, and it became known as Vodafone New Zealand.
  • 1999-2000: J-Phone launched the J-sky mobile internet service in response to DoCoMo's i-Mode service.
  • December 2002: J-Phone's 3G network went live.
  • 3 November 2003: M1, as a Partner Network is added to the Vodafone footprint.
  • October 1st 2003: Vodafone changed the name of its Japanese subsidiary from J-Phone to 'Vodafone', and the name of J-Phone's mobile internet service from J-Sky to Vodafone Live!
  • April 2005: Smartone changed the name of its brand from Smartone to 'Smartone-Vodafone'
  • August 2005: Vodafone released 3G technology in New Zealand
  • October 2005: Vodafone begins releasing 3G technology in Australia
  • 28 October 2005: Vodafone announces the acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in India's Bharti Televentures, which operates the largest mobile phone network in India under the brand name AirTel. The acquisition involves two separate transactions.

Vodafone in the Middle East and Africa

Vodafone currently operates in the following countries in the Middle East and Africa region:

Country Network Name (former) Ownership Proportionate Number of Customers Market Share Status Official Website
Bahrain MTC-Vodafone -- -- 22% Partner www.mtc-vodafone.com.bh
Demcratic Republic of Congo Vodacom 17.85%* * www.vodacom.cd
Egypt Vodafone (ClickGSM) 67% 5,695,000 47% Subsidiary www.vodafone.com.eg
Kenya Safaricom 35% 976,000 65% Affiliate www.safaricom.co.ke
Kuwait MTC-Vodafone -- -- Partner www.mtc-vodafone.com
Lesotho Vodacom 30.9%* * www.vodacom.co.ls
Mozambique Vodacom 34.3%* * www.vm.co.mz
South Africa Vodacom 35% 5,661,000 60% Subsidiary www.vodacom.co.za
Tanzania Vodacom 22.75%* * www.vodacom.co.tz
* Stakes in local Vodacom operating companies in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania are held thorugh the stake in Vodacom South Africa. The former companies are therfore only subsidiaries of an affiliate (latter), but Vodafone Group does not have direct formal relationships with the comapanies in DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.


  • May 1998: Vodafone Egypt network went live under the name ClickGSM.
  • 18 September 2002: Vodafone signs a Partner Netwrok Agreement with MTC group of Kuwait. The agrrement involved the rebranding of MTC to MTC-Vodafone.
  • 29 December 2003: Vodafone signs another Partner Network Agreement with Kuwait's MTC group. The second agreement involves the co-operation in Bahrain and the branding of the network as MTC-Vodafone.
  • 3 November 2004: Vodafone announced that it's South African affiliate Vodacom has agreed to introduce Vodafone's international services to its local market.
  • 3 November 2005: Vodafone announces that it is in exclusive talks to buy the 15% stake of VenFin in Vodacom Group
  • 4 November 2005: Vodafone and Venfin announces that Vodafone is to buy the 15% stake in Vodacom aswell Venfin.

Vodafone in the United States

In the United States, Vodafone owns 44.4%1 of Verizon Wireless, the country's second largest mobile carrier. However, the phone company (Verizon) owns a majority of Verizon Wireless and Vodafone's branding is not used, nor is the network compatible with GSM phones. This relationship has been quite profitable for Vodafone, but there have historically been three problems with it. The first is the abovementioned incompatibility with the GSM standard used by Vodafone's other networks, and the consequent difficulty of offering roaming between Vodafone's US and other networks. The other two stem from the fact that Vodafone has does not have management control over Verizon Wireless. Vodafone is thus unable to use the Vodafone brand for its US operations, and (perhaps more importantly) has no control of dividend policy at Verizon Wireless and is thus entirely at the mercy of Verizon management with respect of cash flow from Verizon Wireless to Vodafone.

Perhaps as a consequence of these reasons, Vodafone made a bid for the entirety of AT&T Wireless when that company was for sale in 2004. Had this bid been successful, Vodafone would presumably have sold its stake in Verizon wireless, and then rebranded the resultant business as Vodafone. As AT&T Wireless used the GSM standard, this would have resolved all the above problems. However, Cingular Wireless ultimately outbid Vodafone and took control of AT&T Wireless and Vodafone's relationship with Verizon has continued.

1 Vodafone Group Plc. Key Performance Indicator press release for the quarter to 30 June 2005, 25 July 2005.

Financial results

From its 31 March 2006 year end onwards Vodafone will report its results in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). It has issued results amended to IFRS standards for its 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2005 year ends for information purposes, and these are shown in the first table below.

Vodafone has some large minority stakes, in particular in Verizon Wireless in the United States and SFR in France, which are not included in its consolidated turnover. In order to provide additional information on the overall scale and growth trends of its business it publishes "proportionate turnover" figures and these are included in the tables below. For example, if a business in which it owns a 45% stake has turnover of £10 billion, that equals £4.5 billion of proportionate turnover for Vodafone. Proportionate turnover is not an official accounting measure and Vodafone's proportionate turnover should be compared with other companies' statutory turnover.

Vodafone also produces proportionate customer number figures on a similar basis, eg. if an operator in which it has a 30% stake has 10 million customers that equals 3 million proportionate Vodafone customers. This is a common practice in the mobile telecommunciations industry.

Year ended 31 March Turnover £m Profit before tax £m Profit for the year £m Basic eps (pence) Proportionate customers (m) Proportionate turnover £m
2005 34,073 7,951 6,518 9.68 154.8 43,602
2004 32,492 9,013 6,112 8.70 133.4 39,446

The following table shows Vodafone's results under UK generally accepted accounting principles (UK GAAP). By the end of its key acquistion drive, which ran from 1999 to 2002, Vodafone had more than £100 billion of goodwill on its balance sheet. As UK GAAP requires goodwill to be written off against the profit and loss account Vodafone has shown large statutory losses since then. However this write off of goodwill is purely an accounting adjustment and does not affect Vodafone's cash position or its ability to pay dividends. Despite the reported losses it is in reality a highly profitable company, and this is reflected in the fact that it is consistently one of the top twenty companies in the world by market capitalisation. Vodafone's accounts for the years shown in the table below include a great number of one off transactions, and apart from noting the rapid expansion of the group, no conclusions about underlying trends should be drawn from the figures without examining the accounts in more detail.

Year ended 31 March Turnover £m Profit/(loss) before tax £m Profit/(loss) for the year £m Basic eps (pence) Amortisation of goodwill £m Proportionate customers (m) Proportionate turnover £m
2005 34,133 (4,702) (7,540) (11.39) 14,700 154.8 43,602
2004 33,559 (5,047) (9,015) (13.24) 15,207 133.4 39,446
2003 30,375 (6,208) (9,819) (14.41) 14,056 119.7 33,926
2002 22,845 (13,539) (16,155) (23.77) 13,470 101.1 29,799
2001 15,004 (8,095) (9,763) (16.09) 9,585 83.0 22,230
2000 7,873 1,349 487 1.80 1,712 39.1 12,569
1999 3,360 935 637 4.12 8 25.4 9,185

Corporate sponsorship


External links

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