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What's up with Vodafone today?

  • 3 Mobile customers to move across
  • Vodafone loses more customers
  • However, upgrades mean Vodafone network improving rapidly
Written by Mikaella Clements

The short answer is "a lot". With the release of business figures from the second quarter of the year, Vodafone have had a lot to answer to along with a burst of news around Vodafone's network and 3 customer base. Here, we'll bring you a round-up of general news around Vodafone, so that you don't have to go searching through a great deal of articles to get the answers you need!



3 Mobile to finally be integrated into Vodafone by August

Vodafone are on track to finish moving across the final 3 Mobile customers to the Vodafone brand by the end of August.

At the end of a three year merger between Vodafone and 3 that began in 2009, the migration is considered one of the last final steps. The 3 Mobile brand has been slowly dismantled: a year ago, it stopped signing new customers, and since then it has pushed out-of-contract or recontracting subscribers to Vodafone. 3 Mobile customers have also been allowed to roam onto Vodafone's 3G network rather than Telstra's where necessary.

Vodafone chief executive Bill Morrow has said: "We are of course starting within the next week, migrating these customers over to the Vodafone network. We have been moving customers over for quite some time; we do have some areas that 3 customers are already roaming onto the Vodafone network, that allows us to test this as we go."

However, while Morrow has assured customers of an "open and transparent" migration process, he wasn't able to confirm exactly what the effect of the additional customers would be on Vodafone's 3G network.

Morrow said: "This is a predictive sort of tool we use and sometimes we get it right, and on the minor case that it's not we're going to be monitoring that point closely so we can take action quite quickly."

If you are a 3 customer, keep an eye on the emails, text messages, and calls from Vodafone; the most important thing is to make sure that you're in communication with your provider enough to have a good understanding of what's going on. Be prepared for some lags or problems in your mobile phone connection over the next month or so, and be patient – but if you find that the Vodafone connection is really not going to work for you, see if you can find a way out. Vodafone have very likely put safeguards in place should you find that the network is just not suitable, and it's likely that you're close to finished with your contract with 3 anyway. Give some of the following providers a call – they're on the Optus network, and may provide better service:

Optus: 1300 302 412
Virgin: 1300 302 649
Amaysim: 1300 791 895

Q2 results out: Vodafone continuing to lose customers

Poor Vodafone has had a bad run of it over the last couple of years, with a mass exodus from their company after ongoing network difficulties and things are yet to pick up for the company.

Vodafone lost another 178,000 customers in the first half of the 2012 financial year. Its total subscriber list is now at only 6.8 million.

Click here to read a more in depth analysis of Vodafone's situation and problems.

Morrow spoke about these latest numbers on Mondays too, saying: "These results speak very clearly to a need to refocus on the quality and consistency of the experience we deliver to our customers. Our customers can expect to experience improvements in the network and customer service throughout the remainder of 2012, and we will make further announcements on our 4G (LTE) plans for next year."

Half of Vodafone's parent company, Hong Kong's Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia), revealed some of the losses it had suffered in light of the movement away from Vodafone.

Hutchinson held up a $131.3 million loss in Australia for the half year to June 30 compared to the previous corresponding period, and its share of VHA's total revenue fell nine per cent to $1.035 billion, with its share of VHA's earnings dropping 20.5% to $112 million.

These figures match up with what we already know about Vodafone's figures in 2011, where the company lost over half a million customers and recorded a loss of $336 million.

However, Hutchinson are unlikely to abandon their baby anytime soon, and put a brave face on the losses. Hutchinson said that they believed Vodafone were making good progress in improving network coverage, capacity, speed, and reliability, while a new focus on customer service meant a significant reduction in the number of complaints to the TIO.

Read more about the best providers available and the amount of complaints received in the latest round of TIO statistics here.

Vodafone's mobile network upgrades continuing apace

The Vodafone network's crash and burn was a highly publicised event, and not one that anyone is rushing to defend Vodafone about. However, if one was to congratulate Vodafone, it would be on the way that they've responded over the past year and a half to their network difficulties: with consistent acknowledgment that they've been in the wrong, a vowed drive to improve, and then walking the walk – Vodafone's network improvements have been extensive and effective, and are still ongoing.

Now, they have announced a further $1 billion in spending to upgrade and extend the Vodafone network, and has begun marketing under the slogan: "Better, faster, stronger than before."

And they've reached the point now where more than anything else, it's bad press that's keeping customers away, rather than a bad network. It's an unfortunate Catch-22 (not really, please forgive me, Heller – but you get what I mean) that customers won't sign up with Vodafone because of their bad network, and Vodafone can't prove that they've fixed their network because customers won't sign up with them.

However, hopefully the new publicity campaign and the great new offers that Vodafone are spruiking can go some way to attracting customers back to the Vodafone brand. As well as this, along with the ongoing development to Vodafone's 4G network, they've begun to roll out a new 3G+ network on its 850MHz radio spectrum that could deliver speeds up to 42Mbps but will, more likely on a day to day basis, sit at around 8Mbps. That's still a more than reasonably speed for a mobile network, and will hopefully go a long way to improving Vodafone's prospects.

I say "hopefully" because yes, in the end we do want Vodafone to do well. They're a company who messed up pretty badly but they do seem to have their evil, cold, corporate heart in the right evil, cold, corporate place, which is more than you can say for a lot of successful companies. They're appealing to their customer base as best they can, offering incentives to stay, and allowing customers the ability to exit gracefully with the Vodafone Guarantee, which offers a full refund if the customer is not happy with their service in the first month. This goes a long way towards making a company easier to leave with, and we're confident that just as long as Vodafone get the chance to pick up where they shouldn't have left off and make improvements without their entire customer base deserting them, they'll be fine. In a few years, they should be just as competitive on their own network as other providers, and hopefully they've retained enough memory from this entire experience to keep their plans as appealing and attractive to customers as they are now.

If you're interested in finding out how good the Vodafone coverage is in your area and what plans you could find with them, give us a call on 1300 850 518 and we'll be happy to talk Vodafone and other providers with you and ensure that you get the best deal available.

Or, take a look at some of Australia's favourite smartphones: the Apple iPhone 4S 16GB, the HTC One X, or, to try something different, the brand new Samsung Galaxy SIII. Or give us a call on 1300 850 518 and we'll be happy to help you find the best phone and plan for you.


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