Vodafone acquires MVNO Lebara's Australian mobile business

MVNO Lebara, which has been operating off the Vodafone network since 2009, has had its Australian mobile assets acquired by the telco.

Vodafone Australia has announced purchasing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Lebara's Australian mobile business assets, with the telecommunications provider to take ownership of its customer base and branding within Australia.

As Lebara has been a Vodafone-connected MVNO since 2009 -- having been connected to the Vodafone 4G network in June -- Vodafone chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd said the transition should be "seamless".

"Lebara Mobile has built up a strong brand presence and loyal customer base in Australia, and we see opportunities to grow the business further," Lloyd said.

"Lebara Mobile customers are already enjoying the Vodafone 4G network, so nothing will change for customers in terms of their experience."

Vodafone will retain the Labara brand as a separate mobile entity, and as such will keep on all Lebara Mobile employees and customer service agents, as well as Lebara's existing customer service channels.

Adding the Lebara brand to its business will allow Vodafone to provide consumers with low-cost international mobile calling, Lebara CEO Yoganathan Ratheesan said, which is particularly important within migrant communities.

Providing more choices for international calling aligns with Vodafone's global roaming initiative, for which it provides customers with AU$5 a day roaming.

Lebara sells its mobile products through Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, as well as convenience stores.

Vodafone announced a net profit of AU$431.8 million for the first half of calendar 2016 on revenue of AU$3.652 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$812.8 million.

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