If Vodafone rebuilds it, will they come?

If Vodafone rebuilds it, will they come?

Summary: Vodafone has just launched a customer guarantee, but is that, and a billion-dollar network investment, enough to secure its future in Australia?

TOPICS: Mobility, Telcos

Vodafone has just launched a customer guarantee, but is that, and a billion-dollar network investment, enough to secure its future in Australia?

Vodafone has had a rough trot, with high complaint levels to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in 2010-11 and 375,000 customers leaving it in the first half of last year. Now it is paring back its operational costs, while pushing ahead with upgrades to its network. So far it claims to have 1000 new 850MHz sites live across the country.

It sounds like it's making all the right moves. Telsyte analyst Chris Coughlan says Vodafone is well placed to provide a quality network experience and its approach is the only option it's got.

Industry commentator Paul Budde is less convinced. He reckons that if you rebuild the network, there's no guarantee the customers will return. For a start, can you continue to thrive as a mobile-only provider? He suggests the carrier needs a more progressive strategy, rather than just focusing on being a network provider.

Tell us what you think? Will Vodafone ever recover from a disastrous 2011? Call the Twisted Wire feedback line on (02) 9304 5198.

Running time: 33 minutes

Topics: Mobility, Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • >> pairing back its operational costs

    I suspect it is paring back the costs, rather than duplicating them?
    • Thank you, DeeCee, you're exactly right. The error has been "repared". :)
  • More than all i like theird ADS :D
  • Voda coverage has certainly improved but throughput is terrible (central Perth metro). Regularly get time outs or very slow data loading.
  • English speaking operators would be good
  • Have to wonder what the $billion is being spent on!
    Just spent 2 weeks in Tallangatta, 35kms east of Albury/Wodonga, maybe less as the crow flies?, and all I could get from Vodafone was SOS..NO signal.
    No problem receiving Telstra tho! and I'm no lover of Telstra, who've ripped us off, for so long.
  • You may not be a lover of Telstra Keith & that is your right however they do offer by far the best coverage & great data speed on their 3G network. Many people I have spoken to recently have said that they have seen little improvement in the Vodafone coverage in the area I live in Newcastel / Hunter Valley region of NSW.
    • Yes I am also one who has been critical (more so of a few Telstra share sheep, than Telstra) but my wife's Telstra NextG phone reception is far superior to my TPG (Optus) reception.

      However Telstra's superiority making it more and more popular in this area is apparently starting to tell ...

    • mg, You are correct. Telstra coverage is way better than their nearest competitor. Telstra marketing and sales has only one aim, to bleed the user. They'd probably double their user base if they priced their product, competitively.
      Currently, the mum's, dad's, pensioners and other users who use their mobile for a quick call or emergency, pay through the nose..
      A $30 SIM has a short life (a rip off), 0.30c/minute (another rip off) and to add insult to injury, they bill the user by the minute. So, if you use 1.1 minutes it costs 0.60c. which is day light robbery. A $30 SIM doesn't last long at that rate! I'd switch to Telstra in a flash, if they priced it competitively, but then they probably don't want this type of user clogging the system up!
      I'm not interested in any of their data coverage, for many if not most it's a toy, however I'd like to be able to use my mobile for voice, & as I said Vodafone is useless not only in Tallangatta or your area, but it's one bar or SOS most of the time in my home on the edge of the Melbourne CBD!

      I don't doubt the coverage in your area is just as bad as my Vodafone reception was in Tallangatta. Will they do anything about it...I doubt it!
  • The 2.3GHz band is being used in China and has planns around the world, so there will be devices flowing out of their ears.

    Also, Telstra will still have a 2100MHz 3G network but will not guarantee coverage, they have plans to build U2100 in my area.
    VHA do not have a continues 20MHz run in the 1.8GHz band, their largest is 17.5MHz in Melbourne.
    Telstra now has 20MHz continues in Perth.
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    machines and other incentives
    to promote food processing industries,”
    he said.