Between 1991 and 1999, the Group consolidated its position in the UK and enhanced its international interests through a series of transactions. As of March 1999, the Group had subsidiary mobile network operating companies in six countries – the UK, the Netherlands, Greece, Malta, Australia and New Zealand. Between 1999 and 2003, the Group furthered its transaction activities thereby transforming the company into the world’s leading international mobile telecommunications company (Vodafone Annual Report, 2006).
Vodafone Group provides a wide range of voice and data mobile telecommunications services, including text messages (SMS), picture messages (MMS), and other data services. The Group is continually expanding its product line and enhancing its service offerings, particularly through third generation (3G) mobile technology.
In the wake of fierce competition and narrowing margins, Vodafone is continuously innovating to keep pace with the changing environment. Besides competition, the list of drivers changing the environment also comprises challenging regulatory environment, and continuous development in technology which means there is far more choice for customers. Historically, growth in Vodafone’s portfolio has come from developed markets, particularly Europe. Due to high penetration rates (100%) in such markets, Vodafone is now concentrating on emerging markets which poses greater potential for growth due to low penetration rates (average 30%).
Vodafone has a strategy of expanding business through acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures in the telecommunication industry. The Group cleanses its portfolio by disposing off underperforming assets that have an impact on its resources. Vodafone has invested only in those geographical regions where it has seen chances of superior returns for its shareholders.
1999 – Vodafone merged with Air Touch Communications which changed its name to Vodafone Air Touch. The Group