Vodafone Group PlcNASDAQ
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  • Wed, Oct. 26, 7:42 PM
    • European telecoms have a stable outlook into the new year, Moody's says, thanks to flexibility in raising prices driven by customers' need for high-speed data -- and their willingness to spend.
    • "Customers are willing to pay more for better value, and telcos" -- including some of the largest, like Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), Orange (NYSE:ORAN) Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), Telia (OTCPK:TLSNY), and Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) -- "will continue to offer higher speeds, more capacity, content and additional services, such as roaming, greater network security and cloud storage capacity, to support price increases," the firm says.
    • The demand should support industrywide revenue growth of 1-2% over the next 12-18 months, Moody's says, and margins will rise from around 35% now to 36% by 2017.
    • Another tailwind is regulators focused less on reducing consumer prices and more on pushing investments in high-speed networking, the report says. But big cross-border M&A isn't likely to occur with fewer synergies to be grabbed as well as less financial flexibility, and governments protecting incumbent firms.
    | Wed, Oct. 26, 7:42 PM
  • Wed, Oct. 26, 3:05 AM
    • Following an 18-month probe by industry regulator Ofcom, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) has been fined £4.6M for "serious and sustained breaches of consumer protection rules," including mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor handling of complaints.
    • "We deeply regret these system and process failures," the telecoms giant said. "We offer our profound apologies to anyone affected by these errors."
    | Wed, Oct. 26, 3:05 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 7:52 PM
    • Vodafone (VOD +0.9%) is set to receive fines in the millions of pounds when UK regulator Ofcom produces the results of a pair of probes tomorrow, Sky reports.
    • The probes, which have lasted almost a year and a half, dug into how Vodafone handled customer complains as well as in delivery of services to the company's pay-as-you-go customers.
    • For prepaid customers, Vodafone was charged with "rendering bills to such customers that did not represent the true extent of the service actually provided to them." And the other probe dealt with whether complaint handling had proper transparency and access to alternative dispute resolution, among other charges.
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 7:52 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 2:18 PM
    • Vodafone Portugal (VOD -1%) is counting on a positive outcome with the European Commission, which it expects will force an opening of Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) fiber network to rival firms.
    • The EC had opened an early probe into decisions by Portugal's telecom regulator not to force Altice-owned MEO (the market-leading pay TV and broadband provider) to allow others onto the fiber net.
    • With a ruling due by the end of the month, Vodafone Portugal chief Mario Vaz says arguments are lining up that suggest open access is coming: "We expect a positive result for Portugal."
    • Such a move would build incentives for co-investment and greater competition in currently noncompetitive parts of the country, he said.
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 2:18 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 1:58 PM
    • Vodafone (VOD +1.6%) is the latest Western phone company to make a move into Iran as sanctions ease up, forming a partnership with local Internet service provider HiWeb.
    • In the non-equity deal, Vodafone will help HiWeb expand and modernize its network, while HiWeb will offer mobile/landline service in Iran to Vodafone's multinational customers. The scope of the pact includes marketing, distribution and even "Internet of Things" services.
    • The move by Vodafone follows similar steps by Orange (NYSE:ORAN), which says it's talking cooperation deals with Iran's Mobile Telecommunication Co.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 1:58 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 5:35 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5.25 p.m.: VOXX +15.6%. CUDA +6.4%. VOD +5.0%. IHG +2.8%. BT +2.2%.
    • Top losers, as of 5.25p.m.: FTNT -13.4%. PANW -4.3%. BBL -4.0%. SIMO -2.4%. FEYE -2.1%.
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 5:35 PM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 4:51 PM
    • Vodafone (VOD -1.9%) spent the most in an Indian wireless spectrum auction that totaled $9.9B in bids (about 658B rupees) -- well below an $84B on offer.
    • With more than $3B in bids, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel ($2.13B in bids), Reliance Jio ($2.05B) and Idea ($1.92B) all passed up higher-priced 700 MHz frequencies, preferring the 1,800 and 2,300 MHz bands, and took less than half of the airwaves being sold.
    • It's still early days for data demand in India, though, and the auction came in line with expectations that JPMorgan has ($8B-$12B total).
    • Though India's big three are all bigger than upstart Jio, Vodafone, Bharti and Idea are behind Jio in 4G presence and worked to build up high-speed spectrum with aggressive bidding.
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 4:51 PM | 25 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 23, 10:39 AM
    • Vodafone (VOD -1.7%) is pouring billions into its Indian operations as it prepares for a bruising competition with Reliance Jio -- the upstart mobile operator arm of India's richest man that has shaken the market with an aggressive price entry.
    • Jio has announced commercial wireless service coming at the end of the year as a 100% 4G player in an unusually competitive market: It's the 12th competitor in India, vs. markets that generally have three or four. It also has the country's largest hoard of spectrum, along with a complete vertically integrated setup.
    • Vodafone -- No. 2 in the market, behind Bharti Airtel -- has moved around $7.2B from Newbury to its India operations, preparing for a fight on multiple fronts including a pricey spectrum auction.
    • Vodafone India is also heavily indebted. That infusion, "which we believe is the largest ever in India, will enable Vodafone India to continue its investments in spectrum and expansion of networks across various technology layers delivering the best of experience to our hundreds of million customers,” says Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood.
    • Two other major operators (Reliance and Aircel) have elected to pool resources for the competition ahead.
    | Fri, Sep. 23, 10:39 AM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 14, 12:37 PM
    • Telecom Italia (TI -0.7%) is unconcerned with the Italian market entry of French low-cost wireless carrier Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY), it says, and it's got defenses in mind to protect its share.
    • "Iliad's entry into Italy does not worry us. Italy is a very different market to France," TI CEO Flavio Cattaneo said in Rome.
    • Prices are already low in Italy, Cattaneo said, and anti-terrorism laws linking SIM card owners to identity cards makes an additional hurdle to getting new customers fast.
    • Iliad, run by tycoon Xavier Niel, is set to become Italy's fourth wireless carrier after taking assets from Hutchison and VimpelCom (part of merging Three Italia and Wind Telecomunicazioni), and it's looking to use its approach to take 10%-15% of the market from TI and Vodafone (VOD -0.5%), Bloomberg reports. Iliad will focus on online sales rather than building out shop infrastructure.
    • Iliad may be ready to start service in Italy early next summer, sources said, and is mulling a move into fixed-line service as well.
    | Wed, Sep. 14, 12:37 PM
  • Thu, Sep. 1, 11:30 AM
    • European telecom firms have some rough sledding ahead, BofA Merrill Lynch suggests, with new iPhones threatening increased subsidies even as half the companies will need a strong second half to hit targets.
    • Tough comparisons and hotly competitive markets are dogging companies like Telefonica (TEF +0.1%) and SFR (OTCPK:NUMCF), which could face misses in the half. The firm is reiterating its Underperform stance on Telefonica.
    • Royal KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY -1.8%) is likely in better shape after its July moves, including price hikes and a headcount reduction.
    • In the medium term, there's more room for optimism especially as companies see free cash flow benefits from refinancing -- particularly Vodafone (VOD -1.5%) and Telefonica, though Orange (ORAN -0.5%) and Telecom Italia (TI -0.1%) can benefit as well.
    | Thu, Sep. 1, 11:30 AM
  • Thu, Aug. 25, 10:48 AM
    • VimpelCom (VIP +0.2%) and Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY) are set to get EU approval of a long-in-the-works Italy operation merger as soon as next week, Bloomberg reports.
    • The two have pressed to combine their Wind Telecomunicazioni and Three Italia into Italy's largest wireless carrier via an $8.9B transaction, but have been pursuing that deal against the backdrop of a European Commission taking a hard line on competition. The EC blocked Hutchison's attempt to merge its Three UK with O2.
    • But a revised plan from the two hopefuls included sales of spectrum, sites and services, and allowing France's Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY) to enter the Italian market as a new competitor.
    • Approval would affect the stock of current market leader Telecom Italia (TI +1.1%), which tumbled last month when VimpelCom and Hutchison submitted new merger plans, and of Vodafone (VOD -0.6%).
    | Thu, Aug. 25, 10:48 AM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 3:30 PM
    • Idea Cellular is exploring a merger with Vodafone India (NASDAQ:VOD) to create India's biggest telecom, CNBC-TV18 reports.
    • Idea, the third-largest telecom in India, has blasted the report as "baseless and absolutely false" and "preposterous." Vodafone India is the second-biggest provider; the two combined would outsize No. 1 Bharti Airtel.
    • Sources told CNBC-TV18 that the two companies were engaged in discussing strategic options that could result in a full combination. That would preclude Vodafone India's moves toward an initial public offering.
    • Such a deal would run into challenges, including clearance from the Competition Commission, considering that market share would rise about 50% in some areas.
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 3:30 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 10:47 AM
    • Vodafone Australia (VOD +0.2%) will begin trials of 5G wireless technology by the end of the year, with an eye to a commercial launch in 2020.
    • That timeline lines it up with competitor Telstra (OTCPK:TLSYY -0.8%), which is using an Ericsson test bed to begin trials in September with a similar focus on a 2020 launch.
    • Vodafone didn't provide precise details, but the company will be working with key suppliers including Huawei and Ericsson, says CTO Kevin Millroy.
    • Vodafone's schedule has it beginning trials after it finishes deploying the bulk of its 4G network.
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 10:47 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 12, 2:19 PM
    • As it prepares a merger with the Dutch unit of Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), Ziggo Group (LBTYA -0.3%) has more than doubled its debt-raising plans, to $3.9B, Bloomberg reports.
    • It now is said to be raising €2.6B (about $2.9B) in a leveraged euro-denominated loan and $1B in a dollar loan.
    • That comes in an environment of higher appetite for risky assets, and an average loan price in Europe of 97.6 cents/euro.
    • Last week, a usually reticent European Commission gave its approval to the merger of Ziggo and Vodafone Netherlands, conditioned on Vodafone selling its fixed-line business there.
    | Fri, Aug. 12, 2:19 PM
  • Mon, Aug. 8, 1:17 PM
    • Vodafone Spain (VOD -0.8%) and Huawei are teaming on what they say is the first commercial deployment of dual-band High Speed Downlink Packet Access (DB-HSDPA).
    • Huawei says it's incorporated chipsets to support the standard since the second half of last year. It lets handsets receive two bands simultaneously.
    • The two companies say it offers double the UMTS throughput compared to single-carrier solutions on Europe's main band.
    | Mon, Aug. 8, 1:17 PM
  • Wed, Aug. 3, 10:20 AM
    • The European Commission has approved a merger in the Netherlands of Liberty Global's (LBTYA +1.6%) cable firm Ziggo with Vodafone Netherlands (VOD +0.4%), on the condition that Vodafone sell its fixed business.
    • Liberty Global has jumped from an open in the red to positive ground this morning.
    • That makes a strong competitor to incumbent provider Royal KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY). Ziggo is the Netherlands' top cable provider, and Vodafone is the second-largest mobile operator.
    • The two companies had reportedly offered concessions last month to get the deal done, and it appears the EC's main concern was Vodafone's quick expansion in the fixed-line market.
    • In keeping with other such regulatory reviews, the EC denied a request from the Dutch competition regulator to probe the deal but said it consulted with the agency in its review.
    | Wed, Aug. 3, 10:20 AM | 2 Comments