Vodafone completes the transaction on Friday Feb. 21 to sell its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless for the princely sum of $130 billion (€94.8 billion), completing one of the most anticipated and hotly debated transactions in its history.
Another day, another rumour about a mobile operator thinking about buying more fixed-line assets to boost its convergence strategy: latest reports suggest Orange is interested in bolstering its position in Spain by buying Jazztel, while Vodafone is said to be weighing an increase in its stake in Greek broadband provider Hellas Online.
EE scraped a double digit increase in earnings before interest depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in 2013, as a cost cutting program offset declining revenue.
Vodafone took a further step forward in its LTE strategy by announcing it has reached 500,000 LTE subscribers in the UK, and is also extending LTE roaming services to more of its markets across the globe under its £7 billion (€8.5 billion) Project Spring investment programme.
Orange has launched its Orange Cash NFC mobile payment service in two cities in France, continuing a spate of mobile payment and banking announcements across Europe.
Vodafone continued its spending spree in India after the operator won spectrum licences worth around $3 billion following the conclusion of an auction that raised a total of about 611.62 billion rupees ($9.8 billion or €7.2 billion)- much more than expected- for the Indian government.
Vodafone Ireland is in talks with Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) about jointly building a Greenfield $545 million fiber to the premises (FTTP) network that would serve 450,000 homes and businesses.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao discussed a multitude of topics during his recent visit to New York, ranging from how much the operator could spend on future acquisitions (up to $40 billion) to whether US operators would be able to do a better job in Europe (unlikely, he said). According to reports, Colao also revealed that Vodafone had turned down a request from Facebook to "zero rate" its content by excluding it from counting towards a subscriber's mobile data plan in certain emerging markets.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said the company could have a war chest of between $30 billion (€21.9 billion) and $40 billion for future mergers and acquisitions, and added that no deal should be too big if it made strategic sense. However, any plans for Spain are up in the air for now as Ono decides to pursue an IPO.
Mobile operator Vodafone and financial software provider Misys made separate moves in the mobile payment and banking sectors this week, at a time when analysts say the future of the industry remains up for grabs.