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Vodafone confident users will not see network woe redux

Vodafone Australia says its LTE network is solid and quick enough to avoid any repeat of the issues that plagued its 3G network.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

New CEO of Vodafone Australia, Inaki Berroeta, says that the company is reversing the stigma attached to the telco since the infamous network problems experienced by Vodafone users in the latter half of 2010.

"The only way to get out of that stigma is for customers to experience a network like the one we have today," Berroeta told a journalist briefing in Sydney today.

Inaki Berroeta
Inaki Berroeta
Image: Vodafone

"We have the top speed in the five main cities in Australia, that is the reality."

Benoit Hanssen, Vodafone Australia's chief technology officer since this time last year, had no reservations in stating Vodafone's LTE network had enough capacity to avoid repeat of 2010.

"No way history is going to repeat itself," Hanssen said. "We have completed a phrase of consolidation to upgrade the core network to provide fully for LTE services for years to come in terms of capcity."

He said that the company would continue to build out its network, with particular focus on in-building 4G services. Comparatively, Hanssen said Vodafone Australia was topping the charts inside the Vodafone group.

"In terms of network reliability, in terms of call success, in terms of data performance ... we have one of the top performing netowrks in Vodafone group, I think we have a top performing network here in Australia."

"I think we are ahead, but I'll let the customers, in the end, judge."

As Optus today confirmed the axing of 350 jobs as part of its restructuring efforts, Berroeta said that cost cutting was not planned at the company.

"Our priority is to get customers on our network," Berroeta said. "Our customer numbers are still a lot less than I would like them to be."

Although Berroeta said the Vodafone was close to being a "positive business", the new CEO was reluctant to recommit to the timetable set out by former CEO, and now CEO of NBN Co, Bill Morrow.

Morrow had previously said that 2014 would see a reversal in fortunes for the company, which had lost 2.5 million customers in the three years since its 3G network issues.

"I have no issue with the current plan that is underway in the company. I think it is a very solid plan," Berroeta said. "It is a plan that is backed by both shareholders in the company ... it is the way for this company to turnaround," he said.

"It would very disruptive for me to change this now."

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