Vodafone and Telefonica, two of the emerging world leaders in mobile communication based in Europe, have one thing in common: they hit their stride in this particular industry and extended their presence overseas under the benign institutional changes being made continuously at the European Union to steer the region toward a frontier-less "single market" where goods, people, services and capital can move around freely.
Under its new name, Vodafone Group Plc., the company begun to claim its place as one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications company with ownership interests in 26 countries across five continents and partnership networks in 33 other countries. Vodafone does not manufacture cellular phones and network equipment so it has become the largest purchaser of these products. In 2004-05, the company bought $23-billion worth of these products from third parties, including $12 billion on handsets, network equipment and IT services from all over the world
The company today boasts of the Vodafone Speaking Phone which was devised to address a major EU concern about giving communication access to disabled persons. The Speaking Phone converts its screen content into speech to allow the blind to "read" text messages. This is just one of Vodafone's products and services that "democratize" access to communication technology.
Right now, Vodafone is developing another project called M-PESA, which seeks to enhance the access of mobile telephony to banking. This would allow customers to borrow, transfer and pay cash through the use of SMS text messaging. ...