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Vodafone and Hutchison: a merger of two failures.

February 15th, 2009 · Greg Atkinson · 46 Comments

Although many business analysts and market commentators will tell you that the merger between Vodafone and Hutchison in Australia will create a strong third force in the mobile telecommunications market, quite the opposite is probably true. The company that will evolve from this merger will struggle to hold onto existing customers and rather than closing the gap with Optus and Telstra, the gap may actually become even wider.

Vodafone Australia and Hutchison Australia are not highly successful companies. Vodafone has struggled in Australia for many years even with the support of the Vodafone Group, a company with a worldwide subscriber base of around 289 million and a market capitalisation of Β£74 billion. (as of the 31st December 2008) Why a global mobile operator the size of Vodafone has struggled to compete in the Australian market is a mystery to me, it is a bit like making a mess of having a McDonald’s franchise: nothing wrong with the product but a lot of problems with executing a winning strategy.

Hutchison Australia (the owner of the “Three” or “3” mobile brand) has had the backing of the global telecommunications and data service provider Hutchison Telecommunications which in turn is part of the global giant Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL). Hutchison Whampoa Limited has operations in 56 countries and over 220,000 employees worldwide so as you can imagine, they have deep pockets.

In Australia they have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into establishing a 3G mobile presence over some years however their 3G business has not lived up to expectations. By any sane performance measure, Hutchison’s 3G business in Australia has been a failure. (although I do enjoy the way their PR and marketing teams try to make it look otherwise)

Of course both companies would strenuously deny that their operations in Australia have been failures. Like all good mobile telco’s they would excitedly refer to the growth in the subscriber numbers that they have had in the last few years, but if you asked them how much it has cost to gain each new 3G subscriber they will not have any clear figures.

Despite all the mobile industry marketing hype actually getting a viable 3G business up and running has been difficult for operators and companies like Vodafone Australia and Hutchison/Three Australia have been really struggling. The fact that these companies are now going to merge is an admission that they have both failed in execution of their 3G strategies in Australia.

After the merger the new entity, VHA Pty. Ltd. will be the combination of two poorly performing companies with a history of being unable to seriously threaten either Telstra or Optus. This is hardly likely to result in the new company being any more competitive and the chances are it will be lucky not to lose customers and become even less competitive than the two companies it replaced.

VHA Pty. Ltd. will start off with a serious moral problem as staff from both Vodafone and Hutchison know there are going to be job losses. In regards to the merger with Vodafone, Hutchison Australian chief executive Nigel Dews recently stated “There’s synergies across all areas, but the vast majority of those would be in overhead areas as distinct from the front line.” If we translate this into plain English it means job cuts; because when you merge two basically identical companies you end up with twice the number of departments you need.

So there will be plenty of people scrambling to hold on the same role in the new merged company thus creating a lovely atmosphere of political manoeuvring, back stabbing and “us” versus “them” etc. Many talented people will simply take a redundancy payment and leave.

Then there will be the massive task of integrating systems and processes. I suspect a small fortune will be spent on getting consultants involved and in two years time the CEO will still be reporting this work is ongoing. There will be plenty of fighting within the company over which way was best, the Vodafone or Hutchison way, and this will result in the merger of systems taking much longer than expected.

Of course the original merger plans will be overly optimistic and the timeline will never be met.This is how things work in the telecoms world, the complexity of many projects are not understood by many in top management and thus network rollout plans, service launch plans etc. often run behind schedule and/or over budget.

In two years time I expect Optus and Telstra will still be entrenched as the dominant mobile telecommunications companies in Australia with the new “Vodafone” a long way back in a distant third. It will take years and a lot more money for the new company to be in a position to seriously challenge Optus and Telstra, and even if things go smoothly with the merger there is no guarantee that VHA Pty. Ltd. will be any more successful than the two companies it replaced.


46 responses so far ↓

  • 1 8020 Financial // Feb 15, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Greg,

    Good analysis.
    Like your observation that Vodafone is like a McDonalds franchise that failed. I’ve worked for the Vodafone Australia finance department a few years ago and it was crazy. All style, no substance. The most basic reporting processes didn’t exist, for example they had several conflicting versions of how big their customer base was (the most important metric for a telco). It was like a supermarket without a cash register.
    They really knew how to throw an office Christmas party though.

  • 2 Greg Atkinson // Feb 16, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Hi 8020. I think many telco’s are like that..and yes generally the parties are good πŸ™‚ What is interesting is that Hutchison/Three and Vodafone are still competitors in many other markets around the world so I am not sure how this merger is going to work unless it is the sign of things to come. Maybe we will see Three/Vodafone join forces in other countries as well? All in all Hutchison Telecoms venture into 3G has been a bit of a disaster for them and maybe the parent company HWL is feeling some pain from the global slowdown?

  • 3 James Browning // Jun 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    This article is a load of crap! Look at the numbers people.

    * Hutchison were EBIT positive in the December 08 qtr, so heading in the right direction in its own rights.
    * Hutchison’s $500 million loan is expected to be repaid or refinanced within 18 months from completion, noting that combined revenues ending Jun08 were approx $4 BILLION!!!!! Repeat FOUR BILLION!!!!!!!
    * The merger will save about $2 BILLION in synergies, and granted the synergies will mean job losses, bitterness and anxiety in the short term but there will also be opportunities as the combined entity grows.

    Do you think Optus and Telstra employee’s and contractors haven’t experienced job losses, anxiety and bitterness as these two companies maneuvered to where they are today?

    Do you think that Australia can only sustain 2 players in the telecommunication market? Get real!!!!!!!

    Regarding the comment “Of course the original merger plans will be overly optimistic and the timeline will never be met…..”, HELLO….., On the 10Jun09 Hutchison announced that the merger was complete and on the 01Jul09 the combied company lists on the ASX!!!!!!! So maybe, just maybe Greg Atkinson’s glass empty synergy was wrong???

  • 4 Greg Atkinson // Jun 20, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    James, maybe you could go back and read a few more of the optimistic press releases from Hutchison over the years and see how accurate they have been. Or maybe you could simply look at the stock price and see how the market has viewed how things have gone.

    By the way I was talking about the mobile telecommunications market, not the entire telecommunications market in general and so yes I think Australia can only sustain two true mobile network operators. There will be virtual operators and WIMAX etc. but I doubt a third mobile network operator will do much good over the longer term.

    No doubt Optus and Telstra have gone though some painful adjustments, but they are still operating under their own brands today. In a few years time “3” will have vanished…that does not exactly sound like a success to me.

    As for the merger being complete well I guess you mean the administration side has been done. How about the billing systems, operations team, customer care etc? All done? Let’s wait and see what the next annual report from Vodafone says.

    P.S. Here are some statistics as of December 2008 for HTA (Hutchison Telecoms)

    Earnings Per Share: minus 21.6. (last time it was positive was in 1999)

    Return on Equity: minus 18%

    Net Profit Margin: – 10.1% (last time this was in the black was back in 1999..before they had a 3G business)

  • 5 tristan // Jul 13, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Greg,

    Yes its true VHA’s customer base is undersized comparing to Telstra and Optus, figures suggesting past and present trends haven’t been as successfully high as expectations believe and merger critcism conversing through editorials.

    However it would be mistaken to say that the the common goal of both Vodafone and Hutchinson Australia is to reach the no1 placement within telco Australia. What better opportunity then have the 3rd and 4th largest telco’s combining forces.

    Merging seperate companies is challenging, no doubt it will affect staff employment, adminstration, customer base, system process, shop fronts, network infraustructer etc…

    So with all opinions said about the merge, what pro’s does VHA have:
    1. Deep knowledge and assistance Vodafone can access
    2. Deep pockets
    3. Customer base growth Hutchison aquired in short time
    4. Combined network coverage
    5. The most competitive rates on market

    Consensus would be most welcoming for VHA to enter the market.

    With a third company challenging both Optus and Telstra, competition will be fierce ultimately benefiting consumers with low prices, expeditious rollout in new technologies and stronger platform for VHA.

  • 6 Greg Atkinson // Jul 13, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Tristan there is no doubt that VHA should be able to be a strong number three in the Australian mobile telecommunications market. However I wonder if we actually need a third mobile network operator in Australia..perhaps a number of virtual network operators could provide the competition we need?

  • 7 tristan // Jul 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Virtual network operators will provide lack of face to face customer service, product information and general handset help. Unfortunatly the majority arn’t technology savvy and haven’t had the privilage of generation x. In theory virtual network operators is sound choice but I do question it’s long term practicality. Consumers find comfort with in-store face to face enquires and product information. With six million customers who shop with Vodafone and Hutchinson makes me believe there is a large demand for VHA.

  • 8 Greg Atkinson // Jul 17, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Yes the virtual network operators need to improve how they operate but if they can drive down costs they will be a major threat in years to come. Some people thought for example that budget airlines would never challenge the major airlines, but at the end of the day a lot of people are willing to accept less service if they pay a lot less.

    I am sure there will be a demand for VHA products, but can they operate a profitable business that keep their overseas masters happy? Remember Vodafone was 100% committed to the Japanese market and had no plans to exit right up to the day they sold out. So if VHA struggles in Oz there is no guarantee that Vodafone will stick around.

  • 9 tristan // Jul 17, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Purchasing 24/12/ month to month and prepaid services raises alot of questions in the mindset of the customer. What paln suits me? How will I save money? What features does that phone have? What are the call rates? etc… Majority of consumers find comfort walking into a store asking the questions they need asking before making a purchasing decision. Consumers want to know what they are buying before buying, they want to demo the handset or test the quality of the equipment before deciding on what products suits them. Then you have the after care that is provided in-store such as repairs,DOA’s etc…

    This level of service can not be provided over the phone which makes me believe virtual network operators will only have limited growth, even in years to come. Service plays a big role on who to shop with especially in the telco industry, the level of servce is restricted over the phone or online, not to mention where those calls are based and the proficiency of english that is provided.

    Yes customers want less for more but at what price?

    While the merge may take some time, VHA’s transition will finalise over next 2 to 4 years, there growth will depend on how quick the merge is. I think vodafone own around 17% share in the industry so it will be important to make the merger as quick as possible in order to cause less confusion to the customer and create the same shopping experience in every store. Once VHA have successfully merged and stabalised there customer base, then there growth will be evident. There basis of growth will be heavily due to there network expansion, the lowest rates and far superior deals then there competitors and new store refreshments.

  • 10 Senator13 // Jul 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

    That level of service is all well and good if it is provided. I have found that the customer service levels from all the major providers are pretty poor. I have experienced a situation many times when the staff do not know their own products. This is both lack of product knowledge for a specific handset/plan and also lack of knowing their product range… This is even before the purchase. After sales service is not much better.

    If there was a cheaper alternative that cut out the shop front I would definitely be interested especially since over the last two years I have found the shop fronts to be useless. I have also found that often when you do go to the shop front with a problem they just palm you off to call their customer care centre anyway so that makes the shop front fairly redundant.

  • 11 Greg Atkinson // Jul 20, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I think the sort of service levels customers want could be provided by a virtual operator. The handsets are not repaired by operators but by the handset vendors so as long as sales staff are given some basic training then an virtual operator could sell via outlets Dick Smith (as they do now) and many customers would be quite okay with that arrangement. They can still walk into a shop and look at the phones before making a selection, just as they do with computers for example.

    A virtual operator that focused on say simple plans, robust handsets and good customer service could probably find a profitable little niche market. They are unlikely to challenge Optus or Telstra but they could make it hard for three mobile network operators to thrive in Australia.

    I wonder how Virgin Mobile is doing these days now that Optus have taken them over? Apparently they have around 600K customers so that is not bad for what is essentially a virtual operator.

  • 12 Greg Atkinson // Aug 3, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    By the way Woolworths have entered the MVNO scene so the competition is heating up. This is going to make it even harder for VHA. See: Woolworths launches mobile phone service

  • 13 nikhil // Aug 29, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Hutchison is the reason for 3G services in Auz.They have brought a revolution in the australian market in terms of nonvoice services.if we look at wireless service providers ,no one in the market can beat 3 in terms of cost,the value a customer gets from 3 cap plan is incredible…hutchison has completed just 6yrs!!!!!! as compared to other providers and has created a market of its own….In case 3 had the same time as other carriers have spent in the market .m sure that 3 would have been much ahead as compared to optus and telstra

  • 14 Greg Atkinson // Aug 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    nikhil 3G services would have arrived in Australia without Hutchison, it is just that Hutchison decided they wanted to use 3G to take on Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. Let’s also not forget that Hutchison operated a 2G CDMA network for years before 3G came along so it is not like it they were starting from scratch 6 years ago.

  • 15 ex Vodafone employee // Aug 31, 2009 at 3:20 am

    All redundant employees left on friday. It was mostly Vodafone staff doing the leaving, it has essentially been a 3 take over with all sorts of broken promises about transparent recruitment process. (as long as the 3 people stayed) There are some terrible stories floating around. The 3 HR team are an embarrassment to their profession.

    Vodafone Global have washed their hands of Australia. Those pockets have been sewn shut. It was merge or get sold. Global were sick of throwing cash at the penal colony, the most expensive country to run and still in 3rd position (market share) It was like kicking the naughty child out of home.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. Vodafone has the brand. 3 will have the people and processes. Nigel will give it a red hot go.

  • 16 Greg Atkinson // Aug 31, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Mergers and takeovers are always messy. I worked for a while with Vodafone Global in Tokyo and saw how they exited the Japanese market after another one of their failed ventures. It was also a pretty messy exit.

    I don’t expect the new VHA to do any better than the companies it replaced. It will bumble along in third place trying to scratch out a living but never seriously challenge Optus or Telstra. However the armchair analysts will say this is good for competition blah blah…but it isn’t really.

  • 17 dan bailey // Nov 3, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Interesting comments. Greg you strike me as a very angry little man, very negative. Time will tell if this merge works, I hope it does. Australia needs this to work otherwise we go back to the highly inflated prices of making mobile phone calls in the late 1990’s. Lets see how they go in a few years.

  • 18 Greg Atkinson // Nov 3, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Why should I be angry? I have nothing invested in either of the two companies. I am just outlining the facts, perhaps you are suggesting that these two companies have been roaring successes in the Australian market place and are simply merging for the benefit of Australian mobile subscribers?

    As for competition, Telstra and Optus are quite capable of keeping each other in check and new technology will keep driving down prices as it has since the 1990’s. (as it has in markets all over the world)

    Anyway let’s see how the new company is tracking in a few years time.

  • 19 Trevor Neutral Bay // Dec 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I have found Greg’s article and the comments very interesting because I rely only on a mobile network for phone calls and internet access.

    I have been watching and researching the various carriers plans and charges all year. Optus definitely do not keep Telstra’s prices low. Telstra does what it damn well likes with pricing because they provide the premium wireless network while Optus and VHA scrape out a living selling to the rest of us who refuse to pay Telstra’s prices and unlike our country-cousins still have choice.

    I have been a Telstra client (landline and mobile) for many years then switched to Optus (mobile, wireless) for the last 5 years. For the past 6 months, I have used Hutchison 3 in Neutral Bay for mobile and broadband services because Optus and Vodafone cannot provide me a service – I am in a ‘blackspot’ in Military Road, Neutral Bay!! So for mine, thank god for the competition from 3 Mobile.

  • 20 Greg Atkinson // Dec 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Trevor. You make a good point about “3” being able to offer you a service when the others are unable to and I guess that is a good reason to have a third mobile operator. But as a business I think VHA will continue to struggle. (although I do not doubt they have some very happy customers)

    I know Military Road quite well by the way as I use to live in Neutral Bay myself when I was back in Oz. It’s a small word πŸ™‚

  • 21 Sean // Sep 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I was on the optus network and they have shocking service if you call up you get an overseas call centre and alot of them can’t understand australians speaking to them and it should be manatry for telephone company’s in australia to have call centres in australia and phone during busness hours so you get an australian on the phone and i would never call after hours again because these overseas call centres have no idea where cities like brisbane or sydney is in australia and they have no idea about the telephone networks in our country and when i was on optus i was on a 24 month contract and the recption got worse over the 12 months half way through the contract and i phoned up a number of times and i called the tio and i brock out of a contract and i ported over to telstra and perfect recption and now i’m trying out vodafone and perfect 3g recption and optus told me to switch off 3g on my phone and i told the tio that as well i have leaned always get an employe number from the call centre rep or even in a phone shop

  • 22 Chrystianna // Oct 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    This article is super interesting. Haven’t found one quite like it. The comments are also a great insight however poor Greg is getting a bit attacked for just writing an article based on fact! Nice work Greg! Thanks for sharing.

  • 23 Greg Atkinson // Dec 28, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Well it seems a lot of people out there are not exactly that pleased with the Vodafone-Hutchison merger according to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald today: Vodafone customers to sue in class action

    Seems to me that the merger isn’t working out quite as planned.

  • 24 Senator13 // Jan 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Seems things are going from bad to worse for Vodafone.

    Customer complaints falling on deaf ears at Vodafone – http://www.news.com.au/business/customer-complaints-falling-on-deaf-ears-at-vodafone/story-e6frfm1i-1225986881502

    They have turned into a mess.

  • 25 Senator13 // May 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    This is an interesting development:

    Vodafone moves into fixed-line for NBN – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/industry-sectors/vodafone-hutchison-australia-moves-into-fixed-line-for-nbn/story-e6frg9hx-1226049815276

    Wonder why they want to branch out into the fixed line business at a time when they are struggling to provide adequate service to their mobile customers?

  • 26 Greg Atkinson // May 5, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I think most major mobile only companies around the world have realised they need to get into other business areas as margins in the mobile area are squeezed. Having said that, you would think VHA would try and get their existing business sorted first before they ventured into new areas.

    Looks like VHA/Vodafone is actually going backwards now in terms of subscriber numbers. See: Vodafone’s losses are Telstra’s gains (from SMH.com.au)

  • 27 Greg Atkinson // May 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Well here we go, Telstra and Optus are picking up unhappy Vodafone Hutchison Australia customers. See: Optus, Telstra share the spoils from unhappy Vodafone customers

    The merger has been a failure.

  • 28 Greg Atkinson // Aug 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Looks like I was right on the money hey? From The Australian today: Mobile exodus from Vodafone as analysts tip the loss of up to 300,000 customers.

  • 29 Biker // Aug 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Jeez, Greg… We’ve been on-the-money since ’84:

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/biz-tech/apple-has-more-cash-than-us-government-20110801-1i6x6.html

    πŸ˜€

  • 30 Waseem // Sep 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Greg,

    i am using this article for one of my uni project and looking at the economic side of this merger. it is interesting and specially the comments have added more insight into it. i have read many articles and have lot of information available regarding vodafone and 3 merger. it is interesting to look from eco of scale and scope perspective because they both are realising value at the end of the day. deal is giving good benefit to both companies, and i am agree with you in many points. in general, this is a merger of 2 failures with 50:50 joint venture and hope they will do better. Thanks for sharing.

  • 31 Ruchi // Oct 1, 2011 at 3:50 am

    hi Waseem
    I am also doin project on same so if u can help me with the details I will be highly obliged specially about employee issues after the merger

  • 32 Morna1919 // Dec 30, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Hi Greg

    As someone involved with both Hutchinson and Vodafone I was interested in the original article and your subsequent comments. Vodafones network and customer service problems are symptomatic of the wider problems within the business. Management are suffering from a combination of denial and hubris.
    The network is still struggling and customer service has deteriorated to the extent that customers have virtually given up. This is reflected in the massive loss of customers from the base over the last 12 months.

  • 33 Greg Atkinson // Dec 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Morna – Hutchison managed to take its 3G leadership position and turn it into a loss making business. Vodafone on the other hand is a global mobile telecoms leader and has been unable to use their resources in order to be a serious player in Australia. After they merged they somehow managed to make a bad situation even worse. It’s quite amazing when you think about how much money they have thrown around.

  • 34 Investor // Apr 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Hi Greg and other commentators

    Interesting article and subsequent comments. Would be interested to hear your views on what is going on with HTA with the appointment of Bill Morrow . . . and do you think he has a chance in turning the company around ?

  • 35 Greg Atkinson // Apr 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Investor. My quick answer would be no. I don’t believe Vodafone has a great track record in turning overseas ventures around. In Japan for example Vodafone took over the J-Phone group with the aim of turning it around and made a real mess out of it.

    As I said back in 2009 the merger would be a flop and it has been. I reckon Bill Morrow may very well end up cutting costs and getting the venture ready for a sale.

    Besides I am not entirely sure Australia needs three 3G/4G mobile networks anyway.

  • 36 Investor // Apr 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks Greg.

    That seems at odds with his management style, i.e. cost cutting.

    Here is a quote on him discussing his resignation from Clearwater:
    “They hired me because I’m a growth guy,” said Morrow, “That’s my forte … but going into ‘hunker down’ mode is not my forte. I went to the board and I said I am not going to run the company on that basis and that’s why I left.” (source: http://afr.com/p/technology/can_bill_morrow_fix_vodafone_oRO8aoufvB69hhXsBXshkI)

    I am tempted for a small speculative investment despite their debt levels, but may hang back to see what story the first set of financials under Bill Borrow produce . . . cost cutting or indicators of growth spending.

    Having said all that, the liquidity for HTA on the ASX is abysmal (less than $10K a day)

    Can’t imagine the company can get any worse . . . although I have made that mistake before with “cheap” stocks :).

  • 37 Greg Atkinson // Apr 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Actually I don’t recall Bill Morrow turning around Vodafone’s operation in Japan. In fact I remember Vodafone saying again & again they would not sell out of Japan and as the article mentions, he led the sale negotiations.

    I don’t suspect he will be in Australia long term so I reckon what ever he plans to do it will have a 2 year timeframe or so.

  • 38 Senator13 // Feb 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Things don’t look to be improving.

    Vodafone Australia sheds another 128,000 customers – http://www.cnet.com.au/vodafone-australia-sheds-another-128000-customers-339343248.htm

  • 39 Greg Atkinson // Apr 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Here we go again: Someone check the water cooler – We’re different now, says Vodafone boss

    (Source: The Australian)

    This part just cracks me up:

    “Vodafone has slashed its costs, including sacking 45 per cent of local staff to reduce numbers to about 3,000 people – a move Mr Morrow said had created a more focused workforce.”

    Yes, the staff that are left must be really focused…on looking for an exit strategy.

    Sounds to me like a plan to get the company lean and ready for sale perhaps? Bill Morrow does has form in that area.

  • 40 Biker // Apr 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    “We’re different now…” does actually seem to be working for Telstra.

    Mine dew, the loss of The Zig… and los Amigos… means it might actually be true!~ πŸ™‚

  • 41 John // May 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Greg
    As someone who has had direct involvement on the fiasco that was Voda your 2009 article was prophetic!
    Morrow may be a smart manager but they may have lost their critical mass and despite a lot of bunf about network there is still a lot problems.
    One cannot see Voda & Hutch continuing to pour good money after bad while their banks are unlikely to continue to roll over their facilities.
    They are definitely in sell mode but who is a buyer?

  • 42 Greg Atkinson // May 4, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Hi John. Vodafone and Hutchison certainly made a mess of things both before and after the merger. Morrow in my view is the man you send it to tidy things up before a sale which is what I recall his role was in Vodafone Japan.

    Despite reports I have seen in Australia, Morrow did not turn around Vodafone Japan…it never turned and was saved when taken over by Softbank.

    So I agree with you, a sale is on the cards.

    Possible buyers? A major telco from Asia? China Mobile for example?

  • 43 Greg Atkinson // Nov 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

    In The Australian today:

    “VODAFONE Hutchison Australia’s customer base has dropped to just over 5 million subscribers after the No3 mobile player haemorrhaged close to 600,000 customers in the three months to September.

    Vodafone Group, which owns 50 per cent of VHA with Hutchison Whampoa, revealed overnight that 584,000 subscribers, more than 10 per cent of its base, were removed from its books in the past three months.”

    Oh yeah, that merger was a real winner πŸ˜‰

  • 44 Senator13 // Jul 31, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    In the papers the other day – Vodafone mobile customer numbers continue to fall – http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/vodafone-mobile-customer-numbers-continue-to-fall-20140723-zvvbz.html

  • 45 Greg Atkinson // Aug 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Yes Senator, it still downhill for Vodafone. Bill Morrow the man who was suppose to turns things around jumped ship and is now at the NBN Co so I guess he saw the writing on the wall.

    Seems all those who reckoned the merger would be a success have also gone quiet πŸ˜‰

  • 46 Greg Atkinson // Jul 21, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Update 2015:

    “VODAFONE Australia made a loss of $184 million in the first half of 2015 despite growth in customer numbers and revenue.”

    Source: Vodafone Australia still in the red
    AAP July 21, 2015

    Yeah..that merger worked wonders πŸ˜‰

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