Vodafone has signed a landmark agreement that will see Chinese manufacturer Huawei make and supply exclusive Vodafone-branded consumer 3G handsets across 21 countries for at least five years.
The deal was announced earlier today at the 3GSM Conference in Barcelona. Peter Bamford, chief marketing officer of Vodafone Group, said: “This agreement with Huawei shows the cost benefits Vodafone’s size and global reach can bring to our customers. We will be able to offer even better 3G phones at more competitive prices across our markets.”
The handsets will be branded solely as “Vodafone”, the first time Vodafone has offered devices branded in this way for the consumer market.
The agreement marks Huawei’s first significant entry into the European handset market. Vodafone anticipates offering the first Vodafone-branded, Huawei-manufactured handset, a 3G model, in September.
Ping Guo, senior vice-president of Huawei, said: “This agreement will enable Huawei to become one of the world’s leading players in handset development and production. We already have a strong presence in the global market and this agreement offers us a great opportunity to expand into new regions alongside the world’s leading mobile community.”
By John Kennedy