VOD.L - Vodafone Group Plc

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
154.38
-1.30 (-0.84%)
At close: 4:36PM GMT
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Previous close155.68
Open156.66
Bid154.78 x 0
Ask154.82 x 0
Day's range154.38 - 156.98
52-week range1.69 - 169.46
Volume49,367,495
Avg. volume73,522,293
Market cap41.329B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.54
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-28.20
Earnings date12 Nov 2019
Forward dividend & yield0.08 (4.84%)
Ex-dividend date28 Nov 2019
1y target est2.01
  • Google Scoops Up Chunk of Vodafone in Battle With Microsoft and Amazon
    Bloomberg

    Google Scoops Up Chunk of Vodafone in Battle With Microsoft and Amazon

    Nov.19 -- Google is taking over a chunk of Vodafone Group Plc’s data operations to help make the phone company's operations more efficient. Google is vying with Amazon and Microsoft for dominance in the data center and cloud computing business. Bloomberg's Alistair Barr reports on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Vodafone, Bharti Airtel to Hike Prices in India
    Bloomberg

    Vodafone, Bharti Airtel to Hike Prices in India

    Nov.19 -- Vodafone Idea Ltd. and rival Bharti Airtel Ltd. are set to raise mobile tariffs from next month, the first increase since the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani into India’s telecommunications market three years ago caused a price war. P R Sanjai reports on "Bloomberg Markets: Asia."

  • Franklin Cuts Vodafone Idea’s Debt Value to Zero on Court Snub
    Bloomberg

    Franklin Cuts Vodafone Idea’s Debt Value to Zero on Court Snub

    (Bloomberg) -- Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Pvt. marked down its debt exposure to Vodafone Group Plc’s India venture to zero, concerned by the operator having to pay $4 billion in back-fees as early as next week. The carrier’s shares suffered a record plunge.The payment deadline has led to “significant uncertainty with respect to our exposure” to the carrier, the fund house said in a statement on Friday. Shares of Vodafone Idea tumbled as much as 39%, reflecting concerns over the future of the beleaguered company.Local wireless operators including Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. suffered a blow Thursday, when the Supreme Court rejected their appeal against an October verdict requiring them to pay as much as $13 billion for spectrum and license fees. The companies were counting on some relief, such as a reversal of the earlier order, reduced liabilities or staggered payment.The court’s rebuff adds to the woes of India’s debt funds hit by a lingering shadow banking crisis that’s shaken the nation’s credit markets in the past 18 months. The order also puts a severe burden on the survivors of a tariff war sparked by the 2016 entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., an upstart that disrupted the industry with free calls and cheap data.Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, with a combined net debt of about $30 billion, reported record losses in the September quarter.Vodafone CEO Says India Venture Is at Risk of Collapse“Experience in India suggests it is unwise to talk of uncertainties, but it is very hard to see how Vodafone Idea survives,” analysts at New Street Research LLP wrote in a report. “A 2-player outcome would therefore be by far the most likely outcome,” which is positive for Bharti, they said.While Bharti Airtel, run by tycoon Sunil Mittal, has managed to raise the $3 billion it needs to pay from a sale of shares and convertible bonds, Vodafone Idea’s billionaire Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has warned that the company may have to cease operations and file for insolvency if the government doesn’t ease their burden.Vodafone Group, the British carrier that owns 45% of the venture, wrote off the carrying value of its shares in Vodafone Idea in its earnings for the half-year through September after analysts flagged the possibility of further impairments.India is open to discussing ways to help ease the payment of these dues by wireless carriers, according to a government official with knowledge of the matter. Stripping out interest from the dues or paying the amount in tranches are some ideas that the government can discuss, this official said.Shares of Bharti Airtel climbed 5.5% at close on Friday in Mumbai after the court order raised the prospects of a telecom duopoly in India. The company’s perpetual, dollar-denominated bonds declined the most in more than two months.Not EasyThe court on Thursday also rejected requests by telecom companies for rehearing the petition seeking relaxations on penalties sought by the government and deadline for the payment.“We wonder how weaker operators like Vodafone Idea will make this payment, and not that Bharti Airtel is getting any respite as the amount has to be paid up,” said Gaurang Shah, vice president at Geojit Financial Services Ltd. “It isn’t easy to raise tariffs and retain customers. It remains to be seen how companies now respond to this decision because the court has twice spelled it out for them.”For two decades, the operators had challenged the way authorities calculated their annual adjusted gross revenue, a share of which is paid as license and spectrum fees. With the October ruling, the court upheld the government’s method, while rejecting the companies’ plea to exclude revenue from non-telecommunications businesses.“We are evaluating filing a curative petition,” Airtel said in a statement after the ruling, an option echoed by Vodafone Idea as well. “The industry continues to face severe financial stress and the outcome could further erode the viability of the sector as a whole.”The government had raised a total demand of around 920 billion rupees ($13 billion) against all telecom operators, including defunct ones, according to filings in the court.Here’s a list of companies and the amount they have to pay to the government:Last year, Vodafone Idea had raised 250 billion rupees from a rights issue.“Vodafone may have some cash through rights issue but it won’t be enough to meet the overall dues,” said Rajiv Sharma, an analyst at Sbicap Securities. “If there’s not enough relief, then it is going to be a matter of time before they shut down.”In the past decade, India has seen a consolidation in the telecommunications industry. Three non-state operators are left now, from about a dozen four years ago. While Vodafone’s local unit announced its merger with Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd. in 2017, Aircel Ltd. and tycoon Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd. slipped into bankruptcy last year. Others including Norway’s Telenor group and UAE’s Etisalat group exited the market.\--With assistance from P R Sanjai, Thomas Seal, Bijou George and Rahul Satija.To contact the reporter on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, ;Arijit Ghosh at aghosh@bloomberg.net, Bhuma Shrivastava, Ravil ShirodkarFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Shares in Vodafone’s India venture plunge after court ruling

    Shares in Vodafone’s Indian joint venture plunged after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that telecoms companies must pay billions in retrospective licence and spectrum fees. requiring mobile operators to pay $13bn in historic levies. The shares recovered slightly to trade 26 per cent lower following a report that the company, in which the UK group holds a 45 per cent stake, may be able to approach India’s highest court for an extension to a January 23 deadline for it to pay about $7bn.

  • Bloomberg

    India’s Top Court Rules Phone Carriers Must Pay $13 Billion to Government

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on Telegram for all the investment news and analysis you need.India’s Supreme Court ruled that wireless carriers including Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. need to pay $13 billion of dues to the government, rejecting an appeal by operators struggling to stem losses and reduce debt.A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on Thursday dismissed review petitions filed by the telecommunication companies against the October verdict, according to updates on the court’s website. Under that ruling, Vodafone Group Plc’s India venture has to pay $4 billion, while Bharti Airtel got a $3 billion bill -- all due on Jan. 24.The court also rejected requests by telecom companies for rehearing the petition seeking relaxations on penalties sought by the government and deadline for the payment.The court’s rebuff is the latest setback for the survivors of a brutal tariff war sparked by the 2016 entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., an upstart that disrupted the industry with free calls and cheap data. Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, with a combined net debt of about $30 billion, reported record losses in the quarter through September, and were counting on the court to reverse its order.“We wonder how weaker operators like Vodafone Idea will make this payment, and not that Bharti Airtel is getting any respite as the amount has to be paid up,” said Gaurang Shah, vice president at Geojit Financial Services Ltd. “It isn’t easy to raise tariffs and retain customers. It remains to be seen how companies now respond to this decision because the court has twice spelled it out for them.”Eroding ViabilityFor two decades, the operators had challenged the way authorities calculated their annual adjusted gross revenue, a share of which is paid as license and spectrum fees. With the October ruling, the court upheld the government’s method, while rejecting the companies’ plea to exclude revenue from non-telecommunications businesses.“We are evaluating filing a curative petition,” Airtel said in a statement after the ruling. “The industry continues to face severe financial stress and the outcome could further erode the viability of the sector as a whole.”The government had raised a total demand of around 920 billion rupees ($13 billion) against all telecom operators, including defunct ones, according to filings in the court.Here’s a list of companies and the amount they have to pay to the government:Bharti Airtel recently raised $3 billion from sales of shares and convertible bonds to help meet the payment deadline. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea’s billionaire Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla warned last month that the company would have to cease operations and head for insolvency if the government doesn’t provide relief measures.Last year, Vodafone Idea had raised 250 billion rupees from a rights issue.Vodafone’s India Unit Chairman Says End is Near If No Support“Vodafone may have some cash through rights issue but it won’t be enough to meet the overall dues,” said Rajiv Sharma, an analyst at Sbicap Securities. “If there’s not enough relief, then it is going to be a matter of time before they shut down.”In the past decade, India has seen a consolidation in the telecommunications industry. Three non-state operators are left now, from about a dozen four years ago. While Vodafone’s local unit announced its merger with Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd. in 2017, Aircel Ltd. and tycoon Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd. slipped into bankruptcy last year. Others including Norway’s Telenor group and UAE’s Etisalat group exited the market.(Updates with background throughout.)\--With assistance from P R Sanjai and Nupur Acharya.To contact the reporters on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.net;Ragini Saxena in Mumbai at rsaxena30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, ;Unni Krishnan at ukrishnan2@bloomberg.net, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    India mobile storm blows in Reliance Jio’s favour

    Indian telecoms tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal is something of a survivor, having watched competitor after competitor succumb to a vicious price war that has ravaged his industry for three years. But in the ...

  • Europe Edges Toward 5G Restrictions After Blast of U.S. Lobbying
    Bloomberg

    Europe Edges Toward 5G Restrictions After Blast of U.S. Lobbying

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials flooded Europe last week, and by the time they had departed, their efforts to persuade their allies to cut back in using Huawei Technologies Co. equipment appeared to finally be gaining traction.Europe has been caught between two major world powers, China and the U.S., over the question of whether to include Huawei in the roll-out of its future 5G mobile networks. Many European countries don’t want to anger Beijing, a significant trading partner, while the U.S., an important security ally, has repeatedly said it may reassess intelligence sharing with countries that utilize Huawei in their 5G networks.But on Tuesday the European Union agreed its member states should adopt a “comprehensive and risk-based” approach to the security of 5G, which includes using only trustworthy parties for components critical to national security, and should consider the laws of a supplier’s home country before buying their products.A day later, following a NATO summit U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed “the need to exclude untrusted providers,” a White House spokesman said in a statement. The discussion came as the country’s largest phone carrier, Deutsche Telekom AG, announced it had stopped orders for 5G equipment due to Huawei’s uncertain status. Merkel has previously insisted that individual vendors such as Huawei should not be banned from the outset.While American diplomats see the new EU security conclusions as a sign of progress, it’s not yet certain it will lead to a change in Huawei’s status in Europe. Under current EU law, only member states can ban vendors from their markets. The countries are expected to agree to recommendations by the end of the year. These could include flagging specific vendors as untrustworthy, or suggesting updates to EU or national legislation.The ambiguities of European regulation haven’t stopped U.S. officials from declaring some form of victory.“We were very pleased to see the conclusions on 5G that the EU council released,” Rob Strayer, the U.S. State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for cyber, said on a conference call with reporters Thursday.Keith Krach, the State Department’s under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment also told reporters in Paris: “I would like to salute the EU leadership on the position they’ve taken on securing 5G.”For their part, EU officials said member states agreed to the 5G conclusions to safeguard the region’s own interests, not to appease any outside powers. They added that the U.S. and China weren’t mentioned in the discussions leading up to the agreement, nor were there any real controversial issues among the member states.Part of the U.S. optimism comes as European companies begin to turn their back on Huawei. Deutsche Telekom said it was hoping for “political clarity for the 5G build-out in Germany as soon as possible” as it announced it had stopped orders on 5G equipment due to Huawei’s uncertain status. No other major European telecommunications company has announced a full ban, although Vodafone Group Plc in January suspended purchases of Huawei gear for the core of its European networks.A key issue for European and U.S. officials is a 2017 Chinese law that mandates any organization and citizen to support and assist national intelligence in their investigations. The U.S. has argued that allies should only purchase equipment from countries that have independent court systems. Strayer has said he isn’t trying to get allies to ban a particular company, but instead, is urging allies to adopt a common security standard -- which Huawei doesn’t meet.“We’ve said for some time that we want to maintain our very close cooperation on law enforcement and military matters with governments around the world,” said Strayer said on Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “But when we’re not able to share information securely, as would be the case when they have untrusted vendors in their 5G networks, we’re going to have to reassess how we share that information in the future.”A Huawei spokesman pointed Bloomberg News to a statement in which the company welcomed the EU’s “fact-based approach,” adding that the Chinese company is a trusted partner throughout Europe and that its 5G solution is “safe and innovative.”The political agreement by the European member states aims to set one approach on 5G across capitals, preventing any one country from being singled out or becoming a potential target for retaliation by China or the U.S.In the U.K., a key U.S. ally, Conservative party politicians are burnishing their hawkish security credentials during a general election campaign by dangling the prospect of a ban on a Chinese supplier. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking at the NATO Summit in London on Wednesday, said he didn’t want Britain to be “unnecessarily hostile to investment from overseas,” but “we cannot prejudice our vital national security interests.”U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid appeared to echo Johnson’s stance. “When it comes to our national security, no cost is too high,” he said, speaking to LBC radio. The Conservatives are capitalizing on data that shows opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn polling badly on whether he can be trusted on national security issues.It wasn’t all a success for the U.S., however. The following day, Johnson was seen using what appeared to be a Huawei P20 smartphone to take selfies. His office said that the phone belonged to a staffer.\--With assistance from Kitty Donaldson and Rudy Ruitenberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.net;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off
    Bloomberg

    Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off

    (Bloomberg) -- Orange SA will seek to extract greater value from its telecom infrastructure, joining rivals in selling stakes in mobile-phone towers and fiber-optic networks.In a first step, France’s largest phone carrier is selling 1,500 mobile towers in Spain to Cellnex Telecom SA for 260 million euros ($288 million), it said Wednesday in a statement unveiling a five-year strategic plan.Orange will set up separate companies to house its 40,000 cellular towers and look for partners to help finance the costly roll-out of fiber networks in France and elsewhere in Europe.Its shares fell as much as 4.8%, the biggest intraday drop in more than three years, after the company issued new forecasts for profits and dividends in the near term that were weaker than analysts had expected. Orange Slides to Almost 3-Month Low as Investor Day DisappointsThe carrier is a relative latecomer to an industry push to hive off network infrastructure into separate businesses to boost its value and bring in new investors. There’s big demand for those assets among funds seeking reliable investment returns. Their involvement could help Orange to cut investment costs and boost a share price that’s barely changed in half a decade, frustrating the government, which owns almost a quarter of the company. The company’s new financial targets see capital spending starting to decline from 2022 once it’s made investments in radio-access network sharing deals in Spain and Belgium and completed the bulk of a fiber-to-the-home fixed-line deployment in France. Ecapex, Orange’s term for capital spending, is expected to grow by around 200 million euros in 2020, then stabilize in 2021 before starting to decline the following year.Read more: Orange’s Midterm Outlook Ambition Hindered by Pressures: ReactMaking the most of infrastructure is key to a new target to increase Ebitdaal -- its measure for adjusted operating income -- by 2% to 3% for 2021-2023. That’s after slightly increasing Ebitdaal in 2019 and aiming for “flat positive” Ebitdaal in 2020.The extra profit may not go to shareholders for now: the company set a minimum annual dividend of 70 euro cents until 2023 and said any increase would depend on the amount of organic cash flow.“We believe the short-term guidance is underwhelming versus consensus expectations,” said Barclays analysts in a note. “As such we expect some profit taking after the recent strong stock performance.”Orange stock has gained 1.5% this year through Tuesday, in line with the wider Stoxx Europe 600 telecommunications index, while independent wireless tower company Cellnex has doubled in value.Red LineFor now, Orange’s infrastructure plans are relatively limited compared to those of rivals. While Vodafone Group Plc has set up a separate towers business for which it plans an initial public offering or stake sale, Orange is looking on a market-by-market basis to consider selling non-strategic towers, and will hold on to what it sees as the most valuable sites. While the new tower companies in Europe seek to demonstrate infrastructure value, monetization so far is “very limited,” Jefferies analysts led by Jerry Dellis wrote in a note.Orange will only go so far in separating assets that it still sees as key to its future. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said it is a “red line” for Orange to “keep control” of the infrastructure, while conceding that its share price doesn’t reflect the value of the assets under the current structure.U.S. carriers have been more radical than their European peers in the past decade, selling overall control of their towers to create a large, independent tower industry. Those deals sometimes led to higher costs for the carriers when the tower operators cranked up mast leasing costs.Orange said it will share future fiber broadband deployment in Spain and Poland with other carriers and may find partners for its French fiber rollout. Richard also raised the prospect of a possible IPO for Orange’s Africa and Middle East business, as previously reported by Bloomberg News. (Adds analyst comment in tenth paragraph, detail on fiber plans at end)\--With assistance from Kit Rees.To contact the reporter on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    U.S. to Tap $60 Billion War Chest in Boon for Huawei Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The U.S. has been warning other countries not to buy telecommunications gear from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. The government will soon put real money behind the effort.A new agency, called the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, plans to tap some of its $60 billion budget to help developing countries and businesses purchase equipment from other companies.“The U.S. is very focused on ensuring there’s a viable alternative to Huawei and ZTE. We don’t want to be out there saying no. We want to be out there saying yes,” Adam Boehler, the first chief executive officer of the DFC, said in a recent interview.He declined to discuss specific company talks or how the money would be spent. However, the plans would be a welcome boost for Sweden’s Ericsson AB and Finland’s Nokia Oyj, which have struggled to compete with Huawei and ZTE equipment that’s often cheaper and at least as capable. The U.S. could bankroll Huawei alternatives through loans or loan guarantees to developing nations and companies, or even acquiring minority stakes in emerging makers of competing gear.Ericsson shares jumped as much as 4.2%, while Nokia gained as much as 3.2% following the story.The U.S. government is concerned about Chinese companies dominating the rollout of faster wireless networks known as 5G. The Trump administration has said Huawei and ZTE gear could be used for spying, an allegation the companies have denied. Many countries, including Germany and France, are reluctant to ban individual vendors like Huawei.How Huawei Became a Target for Governments: QuickTakeHuawei and ZTE “are state-owned enterprises or government-driven companies that subsidize their gear in some cases. The price is decent,” Boehler said. “Longer term, what is the cost of that? You shouldn’t think as a sovereign country from a short-term pricing perspective. Our focus is having people understand what they’re giving up and whether it’s worth it to save some money in the short term. It’s not.”The DFC was created last year to provide development financing to lower income and middle-income countries, which covers about half the world. It’s charged with “helping to advance U.S. foreign policy by countering the growing influence of authoritarian regimes” and expects to be fully authorized and funded by Congress in coming months.The DFC’s $60 billion investment cap is more than twice the size of its predecessor. The new agency can take minority equity stakes in companies, a new tool beyond existing capabilities that includes loans, loan guarantees and political risk insurance.Boehler wouldn’t discuss which DFC tools might be used to support purchases of non-Chinese telecom equipment. However, the Financial Times reported in October that U.S. government officials have suggested issuing credit to Huawei’s European rivals.Ericsson and Nokia didn’t respond to requests seeking comment.Another senior government official recently told Bloomberg News that the U.S. is considering funding mechanisms through the DFC that will decrease the cost of alternative commercial 5G gear. The person asked not to be identified discussing unannounced plans.The DFC is also considering whether to become a founding investor in a new technology infrastructure fund that will back emerging companies in 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other areas, Boehler said. The fund won’t invest in Chinese companies, he noted.“This could support bids on spectrum, investments in infrastructure or the development of a component for 5G,” he said. “We want to make sure that the next crop of companies, if they’re not U.S.-based, that they at least adhere to the principals we care about -- the rule of law and data protection.”“The real issue about Huawei is not China, it’s security of data,” he added. “We want to ensure that companies adhere to certain data-security standards and the protection people’s information.”Ethiopia is in the midst of privatizing its telecom industry and is auctioning spectrum and licenses. Vodacom Group Ltd., majority owned by British wireless giant Vodafone Group Plc, is planning a joint bid with Kenyan operator Safaricom Plc.“That is a live example that we can play in,” Boehler said. “There are no U.S. companies involved at this point, but the British are bidding.”(Updates with Ericsson and Nokia shares in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Alistair Barr in San Francisco at abarr18@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Don't Buy Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks
    Simply Wall St.

    Don't Buy Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks

    Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 2 days. You will need to purchase shares before...

  • Bloomberg

    Google Wins Vodafone Data Deal in Battle With Amazon, Microsoft

    (Bloomberg) -- Google is taking over a chunk of Vodafone Group Plc’s data operations to help the world’s second-biggest mobile phone company identify cost savings using artificial intelligence.Vodafone will shift data processing and storage from its own premises to Google’s cloud and use Google’s real-time analysis tools to develop new services for business clients and streamline the carrier’s operations in 24 countries, the companies told Bloomberg.It will become “the brains of our business as we transform ourselves into a digital tech company,” said Simon Harris, Vodafone’s head of big data delivery.Alphabet Inc.’s Google is vying with Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. for dominance in data centers and cloud computing. Vodafone has launched an internal platform dubbed “Neuron” to aggregate and crunch the ocean of data from its customers and networks. Chief Technology Officer Johan Wibergh said Vodafone can’t do that without Google’s capabilities.The companies didn’t give the price of the contract.Many phone companies are closing their aging data centers and outsourcing the work to a new generation of huge server farms developed by U.S. tech giants. Telecom Italia SpA has partnered with Google to sell cloud and edge computing services to corporate clients. Britain’s BT Group Plc is shifting from owning its data infrastructure to partnering with tech giants and selling complementary services such as system integration and cybersecurity.The Google deal is much more cost-effective than trying to build the same technological tools in-house, said Wibergh by phone. Vodafone is not selling its own data centers as they are still being used for other things, he added.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at tseal@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Vodafone Idea, Bharti Surge on Plan to Raise Mobile Tariffs

    (Bloomberg) -- Shares of Vodafone Idea Ltd. and rival Bharti Airtel Ltd. rallied after the wireless carriers said they planned to raise tariffs starting next month, the first increase since the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani into India’s telecommunications market in 2016 triggered a price war.Vodafone Idea surged as much as 30% in Mumbai on Tuesday, while Bharti Airtel rallied as much as 6.6%. Reliance Industries Ltd.’s shares rose more than 3% to a record on optimism Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will also benefit from higher tariffs. “Mobile data charges in India are by far the cheapest in the world even as the demand for mobile data services continues to grow rapidly,” Vodafone Idea, formed by the merger of Vodafone Group Plc’s local unit with billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd., said in a statement late Monday. Higher rates will become effective Dec. 1, it said.Separately, a Vodafone Idea spokesman declined to disclose details about the possible tariff increase and plan details. The move comes after the wireless carrier reported the worst quarterly loss in Indian corporate history last week. The announcement of the increase was followed by Bharti Airtel, which also said it will raise phone rates from next month.Vodafone Idea last week took a one-time charge related to a $4 billion demand from the government, leading to a net loss of 509 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) in the September quarter. Saddled with about $14 billion of net debt, Vodafone Idea is fighting for survival after India’s top court last month ordered it and others including Bharti Airtel to pay fees that the government said were due from prior years.Indian telecom companies have been faced with high debt and low prices especially after the entry of Jio. That drove some to bankruptcy and led to the merger of others such as Vodafone with Idea. The acute stress in the sector has been acknowledged by all stakeholders and a high-level government panel is looking into providing appropriate relief, Vodafone Idea said Monday.“The key will be Jio’s response to the price hike. We think Jio could likely follow,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note. Reliance has potential to gain from already above average valuation, thanks to the possibility of higher telecom tariffs and its debt reduction plans, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.(Adds Reliance shares in second paragraph, analysts comments in last)To contact the reporters on this story: P R Sanjai in Mumbai at psanjai@bloomberg.net;Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Abhay Singh, Ravil ShirodkarFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.