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Colao calls for ‘unbeatable’ collaboration

27 января 2009

Vodafone, China Mobile and Verizon Wireless are capable of creating an “unbeatable” alliance through better collaboration, according to Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Colao said greater co-operation could provide customers with a better user experience and provide the companies with savings when buying mobile phones and other telecoms equipment.

Mr Colao separately warned that the shortage of radio spectrum in India was threatening to inhibit the growth of mobile services based on internet access.

India is the world’s fastest- growing mobile market, but operators have yet to launch services based on third-generation wireless technology because of delays to a planned sale of radio spectrum by the government.

Vodafone owns a 3.2 per cent stake in China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, and Mr Colao said he was seeking “stronger and tighter co-operation” between the two companies.

Last year, Vodafone, China Mobile and Verizon Wireless, the leading US mobile operator, said they would work together on 4G mobile technology called long term evolution, which will provide fast internet access on handsets. LTE opens up the prospect of a mobile phone that could work anywhere in the world. The problem with 3G technology is that there are three variants, meaning some users have to change their handsets when abroad.

Mr Colao said: “If you think of three players, China Mobile is very strong in China; it’s a big country. Vodafone is very strong in Europe, Africa, India. Verizon is very strong in the US.

“If these three companies could work more closely... in the management of customers, procurement and service creation, we could be unbeatable, quite frankly.”

In procurement, the three companies could combine their purchasing power to secure savings from handset makers and telecoms equipment manufacturers.

Vodafone and China Mobile are working together on mobile internet services. Together with Softbank, the Japanese mobile operator, they last year announced a research project aimed at accelerating the roll-out of such services.

Vodafone bought a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar, India’s fourth largest mobile operator, for $10.9bn in 2007. It is expected to bid for some of India’s 3G spectrum, but the auction faces delays over changes to its reserve price.


Источник: Financial Times

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