Vodafone looks to data and financial services for growth

Vodafone is looking to expand into financial services and grow its mobile data business in a move to strengthen its position in the smartphone market.

Vodafone
Vodafone campaign

The strategy was outlined today (9 November) as the mobile operator reported a year on year rise in group revenues of 3.9% to £22.6bn.

Africa and Central Europe and Asia Pacific and Middle East regions performed well over the year, with Europe revenues down 4.3% year on year.

Despite this, Vodafone revised its full year adjusted operating profit outlook upwards from £11.8bn to £12.2bn.

Financial mobile services and machine-to-machine services – where wired and wireless services can communicate with each other – have all been identified as areas of expansion for the company.

The company’s stated intention to move into financial services follows similar moves by its competitors.

In August last year, rival O2 launched O2 Money, in partnership with Natwest, which saw it offer pre-paid Visa cards to O2 customers. Earlier this year Orange explored a similar idea by registering the trademark Orange Cash, and said it was looking for technology partners to develop payment services.

Vodafone says it will focus on building its mobile data business, which the company views as a major growth area, particularly in emerging economies.

The company says the “rapid increase in demand for ubiquitous mobile data services” means it will now look to improve data capability and reliability in European networks and developing networks in Indian and African markets.

Vodafone will change its data services to tiered plans which will focus on usage with the hope of encouraging data adoption and improving ROI.

The company will also offer a better range of smartphones and connected devices, including new Vodafone-branded smartphones to “accelerate further smartphone penetration across our customer base.”

The company says its second £1bn cost efficiency programme “is on track” and it says it will continue to “identify further ways to simplify and standardise our business to increase efficiency.”

In 2008 the company underwent a efficiency drive with the aim of returning to growth and delivering higher cash flows in the wake of the global recession.

Earlier this year the company underwent a corporate review of its group marketing team Vodafone.

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