Which company is the second largest mobile telecommunications firm in the world? It is a name that may not be familiar to many, and yet it has the most subscribers and some of the highest earnings in the entire industry. Would it surprise you to learn that Vodafone holds this prestigious place in the market?
It all began in 1982, long before the era of the mobile phone. At this time Racal Electronics was a leading maker of military radio gear and tech. The company's leadership decided to partner with Millicom, which was also called Racal Vodafone, and things began to take form.
The way it worked out is quite interesting. The leadership of Millicom appealed to the General Electric Co. for access to their radio tech at use in military operations in the U.S. This led to the development of mobile radio in the commercial markets (something already under way in the U.S.).
Mobile licensing in the U.S. is what inspired both Millicom and Racal to consider how best to develop mobile phone networks in the U.K., Their business dealings led to the creation of Racal-Milicom Ltd., and the group officially launched Vodafone on the first day of the year in 1985.
Within only a few short years the firm went public, became the Vodafone Group, and began to build itself up into the telecommunications empire it is today.
As early as the late 1990s, Vodafone was ready to expand. It acquired Talkland, Peoples Phone, and Astec Communications in a single year. This gave them access to a huge network of subscribers and many real-world storefronts through which to grow the business.
A few years later it purchased AirTouch Communications and became Vodafone Airtouch. Another trade provided the company with a large share of the German mobile phone network held by Mannesman, and later that same year it merged with the U.S. group Bell Atlantic Corp to become Verizon Wireless.
In 2001, Vodafone acquired Eircell (the largest mobile service in Ireland) and rebranded it under the Vodafone name. It staked a claim in the Japanese market through the purchase of J-Phone, and created the entirely new idea of "Partner Networks" through an arrangement with the Danish firm TDC.
Further acquisitions have included Vodafone Essar, Bluefish Communications, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Kabel Deutchland, and ONO. These decisions made it possible for the firm to take a huge market share throughout most of the mobile communications industry, offer 4G as far as New Zealand, and establish a presence in almost every corner of the world.
Currently they have operations in the Middle East and Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Its products and services are extensive, and include:
* Vodafone Live!
* Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem
* Vodafone Eurotraveller
* Vodafone at Home
* Vodafone 360
* Mobile money transfer services
* mHealth Services
Vodafone also defines its basic service offerings in much more streamlined definitions. Rather than defining themselves strictly by current products, they instead describe their overarching systems as being aligned with business, roaming, mobile, and marketing solutions.
Vodafone also created the Vodafone Foundation. This is an enormous charitable enterprise through which the company realizes it vision of building a more sustainable future by delivery of products and services that "enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes". (Vodafone.com, 2014)
The foundation utilizes mobile technology to benefit vulnerable groups and describes itself as "mobile for good". Examples of their foundations activities would include the Safe Taxi System, TECSOS (a mobile phone adapted for instant access to emergency services), and the World of Difference UK program, among many others. Fundamentally, the foundation is committed to global social investment.
They also achieve this goal of a better world through their sustainability programs. These range from somewhat broad approaches such as research to working alongside organizations in an effort to help them operate efficiently and using energy in more intelligent and technologically advanced ways.
Clearly, Vodafone is not just a mobile communications provider. It is a vital and energetic organization emphasizing "useful and inspiring innovation". With more than 400 million customers in the business and consumer markets, it is clearly succeeding and adapting to any changes that arrive in the world of mobile technology.
Vodafone.com. About Us. Vodafone.com 2014.