More than 50pc of Vodafone bill pay devices are smartphones

9 Nov 2010

Vodafone proclaimed itself this morning “home of the smartphone” after revealing that more than one in every two bill pay devices during its latest second quarter were smartphones. Vodafone Group reported stg£22.6bn in revenues for H1.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said the company commanded strong organic services revenue growth in H1 and revealed a new strategy for the company that centres on the explosion in mobile data, as well as new opportunities in machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile financial services like near field communications (NFC).

Under the new strategy, Europe, Africa and India will form one focused group.

The company also revealed a new mobile growth strategy that will exploit the growth of mobile data, expand its enterprise division, drive penetration into emerging markets and take advantage of new services opportunities in fields like M2M and financial services, like mobile banking.

“I am pleased to report a further improvement in organic service revenue growth, together with upgraded guidance,” Colao said.

“We have also today announced an updated strategy, which positions Vodafone to realise further value from non-controlled assets, take full advantage of the most valuable telecommunications growth opportunities ahead and which will deliver sustainable revenue growth, stabilising margins and strong free cash flows,” he added.

Group revenues were up 3.9pc to stg£22.6bn, yielding the mobile giant an operating profit of stg£6bn. Earnings per share was stg£14.31p.

In Ireland, Vodafone said it added 31,700 customers in the last quarter with a total customer base now standing at 2.38 million, out of which 2.18 million were mobile customers.

Blended ARPU decreased by 8.9pc to €35.40.

Smartphone revolution

The company said data revenue grew 26pc year-on-year.

It surmises that despite the normal urge to curb spending during a recession, smartphone users are viewing their devices as a wise investment, using it as a source of information on the move.

In addition to data, customers are continuing to talk and text more. Free calls and texts sent by Vodafone Ireland pay as you go customers amounted to 373 million minutes and 301 million texts in this quarter.

Vodafone Ireland now has 1 million customers signed up to its Passport roaming offering, which was launched in summer 2006.

The offering is available to all Vodafone voice customers across bill pay, enterprise and pay as you go. The overall proportion of customers who have chosen Passport is high with, for example, more than 85pc of bill pay voice customers registered Passport users.

The company also reported growth in demand for converged technologies and said it will continue to launch innovative fixed products. The company now offers bespoke solutions that involve the integration of mobile telephony, IP-VPN data networking and fixed telephony as part of a total communications offering for Irish businesses.

In the last quarter, Vodafone introduced Control UK, which offers businesses unlimited calls in Ireland and the UK. It includes unlimited calls to Irish local, national and mobile numbers, as well as unlimited calls to the UK and from the UK.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years