Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vodafone Group Plc (London, Nasdaq: VOD) to acquire Vodafone’s U.S. group with the principal asset of 45 percent of Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, consisting primarily of cash and stock. Verizon expects the transaction at close to be immediately accretive to the company’s EPS (earnings per share) by approximately 10 percent, without any one-time adjustments.
The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Verizon and Vodafone, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the approval of both companies’ shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
The transaction would provide Verizon with 100 percent ownership of the industry-leading wireless carrier in the United States. As a wholly owned entity, Verizon Wireless will be better equipped to take advantage of the changing competitive dynamics in the market and capitalize on the continuing evolution of consumer demand for wireless, video and broadband services.
Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, said: “Over the past 13 years, Verizon Wireless has been a key driver of our business strategy, and through our partnership with Vodafone, we have made Verizon Wireless into the premier wireless provider in the U.S. The capabilities to wirelessly stream video and broadband in 4G LTE complement our other assets in fiber, global IP and cloud. These assets position us for the rapidly increasing customer demand for video, machine to machine and big data. We are confident of further growth in wireless, and our business in its entirety.”
McAdam continued: “This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers. We believe full ownership will provide increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireline markets.”
The line between prepaid and postpaid mobile offerings has become even more blurred as Virgin Mobile USA enters the Android smartphone market. Beginning today at Target stores nationwide, Virgin Mobile adds the Samsung Intercept, running on the Android mobile operating system, to its affordable, no-contract lineup of handset and service offerings. The Intercept will roll out to other major retailers throughout the month and will be available for purchase at virginmobileusa.com by mid-October for $249.99.
“As smartphone users come up for contract renewal and examine their monthly costs, they will start to wonder why they are paying more each month when they can get similar services from Virgin Mobile at a fraction of the price,” said Bob Stohrer, vice president-Marketing, Virgin Mobile USA.
Vodafone UK customers can order the Nexus One, the new superphone from Google, at vodafone.co.uk/nexusone. The Nexus One is available in the UK beginning April 30.
Vodafone is the first European mobile operator to offer Nexus One. Customers who pre-order online will be the first to get a Nexus One for free on a 35 pound monthly price plan (24 month), on April 30. The Nexus One will also be available via Vodafone stores and telesales, with Vodafone providing direct support to customers with the superphone when they need it.
Nexus One will be available on a range of great value Vodafone price plans, on both 18 and 24 month contracts. Price plans start from 25 pounds a month on a 24 month contract.
Vodafone UK customers with the Nexus One can use up to 1GB of mobile data as part of their price plan as well as take advantage of unlimited access to Wi-Fi in the home and free, publicly available services throughout the country. Customers using Wi-Fi can also use an additional 1GB of data at premium BT Openzone hotspots throughout the UK.
LiMo Foundation, a global consortium of mobile industry leaders today announced the Vodafone 360 Samsung M1, the second LiMo compliant device built upon LiMo Platform Release 2 (R2). This latest handset developed by Samsung offers mobile consumers a unique mobile experience presented through Vodafone’s stunning feature-rich, highly customizable Vodafone 360 user interface (UI) – providing a new set of Internet services for the mobile and PC that gathers all of a customer’s friends, communities, entertainment and personal favorites in one place. Following in the footsteps of the Vodafone 360 Samsung H1, the Vodafone 360 Samsung M1 is designed in price and function for a larger segment of mobile consumers.
Powered by the LiMo R2 Platform the Vodafone 360 Samsung M1 brings a cost- and technology-conscious option to mass-market consumers previously locked out of the traditional smartphone market and demonstrates the ability of the LiMo Platform to scale across device profiles. With one of the mobile industry’s most advanced feature sets integrated with sophisticated handset design and an innovative, easy-to-use 3D user interface, the Vodafone 360 Samsung M1 offers an exceptional yet affordable smartphone experience to all consumers.
Vodafone and Research In Motion today introduced the BlackBerry Storm2 smartphone for customers in seven European countries as well as South Africa.
The second generation of RIM's innovative and award-winning touch-screen smartphone, the BlackBerry Storm2 significantly improves the BlackBerry touch-screen platform with new technology and new features to let customers stay easily connected to the people, places and things that matter most.
In the busy holiday gift buying period, customers in the UK and Ireland will be able to get the new smartphone first through Vodafone, and it will be offered exclusively by Vodafone in Germany, Netherlands and Spain. It will also be made available in France, Italy and South Africa in time for Christmas.
Vodafone today announces the launch of Vodafone 360 - a new suite of innovative internet services for the mobile and PC.
All of a customer’s contacts, status updates and messaging services are brought together in one place enhancing the customer’s experience and use of social media. Customers will have integrated contacts, music, photos and mapping services and can share their favorite music choices and even their physical location, how and when they choose, with their chosen groups of friends.
The service is automatically backed up and synchronized, regularly and wirelessly, between the mobile and PC or Mac. All contacts updates, emails, photos and conversation history or settings changes made either at home or when on the move are saved, keeping all the content up-to-date.
LiMo Foundation today announced that global operators on LiMo’s Board of Directors will be launching new handsets during 2009/10 based upon the existing R2 & planned 2010 R3 release of the LiMo Platform. Operators that intend to bring these handsets to market include NTT DOCOMO, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.
The LiMo Platform reflects best-in-breed IP contributions of major stakeholders across the mobile industry, which in turn enables operators to leverage a common, pre-integrated software platform across many devices while providing deeply customized experiences to their customers. The LiMo Platform allows full freedom of choice in regards to application distribution paths and business terms so that mobile applications and services can be brought to market through a variety of channels, including current and emerging application stores and customer portals. Operators will be able to work with application providers and other participants in the LiMo ecosystem to deliver personalized services and a highly compelling mobile experience to their customers.
Luxury brand Swarovski of Australia and Vodafone plans on launching a fashion handset embedded with 126 precision-cut crystals called the Vodafone 533 Crystal. The handset also includes a crystal-inspired theme and animated start-up display. Additional features include:
2.0-inch color screen
1.3-megapixel CMOS camera
External memory slot
The Crystal is part of Vodafone's new "Catwalk Collection" by artists like Berlin-based Tomek Sadurskiown. The Catwalk Collection is a line-up of trendy devices featuring designs. No price has been disclosed but the handset will be released in the U.K. before Christmas.
Nokia today announced the feature packed mobile Nokia 6730 classic, which begins shipping in June and will be available exclusively across Vodafone's global footprint. Mobile internet, Vodafone Music Client and personal and business email access along with mobile navigation capabilities are all included in the Nokia 6730 classic. The device utilises S60 software which means customers can easily download their choice of additional applications from the web.
With the Nokia 6730 classic, getting lost and being out of touch with your friends could be a thing of the past thanks to the mobile navigation capabilities on the handset. The services offer accurate turn by turn instructions helping both drivers and pedestrians to find their way. It also provides access to comprehensive point of interest databases and both white and yellow pages information making it easy for the user to find their destination, whether that is an address, a company or even a person.
"'Feature packed' describes Nokia 6730 classic really well. With its iconic design - available in sleek black or white - the device is a perfect upgrade for Nokia 6500c or 6300 users or anyone seeking an elegant device, optimized for mobile internet and navigation. What's more, this mobile comes with industry-leading power-saving features and accessories" says Gustavo Eichelmann, Head of Vodafone Global Account Team, Nokia.
Vodafone and HTC Corporation today announced the HTC Magic smartphone, Vodafone’s first Android-powered mobile, which will be available in the spring.
The stylish new handset is exclusive to Vodafone in the UK, Spain, Germany and France (SFR) and available on a non-exclusive basis in Italy. Customers can ensure that they are the first to receive information about the HTC Magic’s availability, pricing and pre-ordering by registering their interest via their local Vodafone website from today.
The introduction of the HTC Magic is the result of a successful relationship between Vodafone and HTC, and Vodafone’s joining, late last year, of the Open Handset Alliance.
A tablet-style device, with a sleek design and unprecedented compactness for a smartphone featuring the Android platform, the HTC Magic enables a superior mobile internet experience, providing broad flexibility for personalisation via the application-rich Android Market.
Verizon Wireless, Vodafone Group and Research In Motion today announced that the BlackBerry Storm will be available later this fall, exclusively to Verizon Wireless customers in the U.S. and Vodafone customers in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Designed to satisfy the needs of both consumers and business customers, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone combines the powerful communications features, global connectivity and personal productivity advantages of the BlackBerry platform with a revolutionary touch-screen technology that dramatically enhances the touch interface and enables easy and precise typing. The world's first “clickable” touch-screen responds much like a physical keyboard and also supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient application navigation.
In the U.S., Verizon Wireless customers will benefit from the nation’s most reliable wireless voice network and the pervasiveness of Verizon Wireless’ reliable high-speed 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) network for rich Internet browsing and multimedia applications.
Vodafone and MySpace today announced the launch of an online global interactive platform, "Vodafone Music Reporter", which will expand Vodafone's music activity and continue to deliver a unique music experience to Vodafone customers.
The "Vodafone Music Reporter" interactive profile, hosted on MySpace, builds on the successful collaboration of both companies which began in 2007 with the launch of MySpace on Vodafone mobile internet. Vodafone will use the profile to share its existing music initiatives, including summer festivals such as Music Unlimited Cologne in Germany and Vodafone TBAs in the UK.
Vodafone today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in ten of its markets around the globe.
Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.
China Mobile Limited, SOFTBANK and Vodafone have agreed to establish a Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) to promote the development of new mobile technologies, applications and services. The three companies expect the initiative will help to accelerate the commercial deployment of mobile internet services.
The three companies will use the JIL as a platform to develop mobile services and drive innovation and synergy in the industry to the benefit of their combined global customer base. The JIL will launch projects based on emerging technologies and market demand.
The JIL will focus on the rapidly growing areas of mobile internet services, such as mobile widgets*. Initially, the JIL plans to develop a platform for mobile widgets to encourage the development of innovative new services that can leverage mobile operators' unique capabilities. The JIL also welcomes the co-operation of vendors and developers in the creation of new applications and services.
Visto, the leading provider of secure and easy-to-use mobile email, today announced that Vodafone Germany has selected Visto Mobile to power its new mobile email offering; Vodafone E-MailConnect. Based on Visto Mobile, this new service brings easy-to-use mobile email to Vodafone's consumer, prosumer and small business markets throughout Germany.
As one of the largest operators in Europe, serving more than 34 million mobile customers, Vodafone Germany is offering the Vodafone E-MailConnect service across the broadest range of business devices and consumer-oriented handsets.
Vodafone Germany selected the Visto Mobile platform because it dramatically simplifies the mobile email experience for Vodafone Germany's customers. With Visto's award-winning Easy Setup feature, customers can mobilize their corporate and personal email within three clicks from a Visto Smart Icon installed on their handset and "Walk Out Working" (WOW).
Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia 6124 classic, exclusively available from Vodafone in Vodafone markets. The Nokia 6124 classic is a compact multimedia device offering Vodafone customers faster and easier access to all of Vodafone's high speed Internet and entertainment services.
Vodafone and Nokia will make it easier to access the Internet quickly at the click of a button on the Nokia 6124 classic. Customers will get the full suite of communications, content, Internet services and browsing, through seamlessly integrated Vodafone services on this Nokia device.
Available exclusively for Vodafone customers world-wide, the Nokia 6124 classic features superior data rates with 3G broadband offering downloads up to 10 times faster than 3G networks. A large 2.0" display with outstanding brightness and clarity adds more pleasure for internet browsing and video streaming.
Vodafone is to trial HSPA+, an evolution of today’s radio access HSPA technology, to assess its potential to deliver even higher data rates through the upgrade of existing network equipment.
Vodafone will work alongside Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm to trial Release 7 HSPA+ (also known as HSPA Evolution) which has the potential to handle data even more efficiently than today’s HSPA technology. The initiative will help to establish whether HSPA+ is capable of delivering data throughput rates of up to 28.8 Mbps compared to the 14.4 Mbps maximum offered by today’s HSPA networks. If successful, the technology has the potential to extend the life of today’s HSPA infrastructure still further.
HSPA+ technology is designed to offer higher throughput than HSPA through its use of multiple antennae on both base stations and handsets (Multiple Input Multiple Output) as well as the deployment of a complex modulation technique called 64-QAM HSDPA.
Facebook yesterday launched a platform for mobile operators to make its social networking application work better on portable devices. Last month it was rumored that Nokia and Facebook are working on a deal that would place Facebook on Nokia handsets.
However, Vodafone is the first operator to use the Facebook for Mobile Operators platform and has started services in the United Kingdom and Germany. Vodafone will later expand the program to Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal.
The platform gives operators a set of technical specifications intended to resolve problems when using Facebook on a cell phone rather than a PC, such as smoothing out login problems and opening up other features. The platform also includes other specifications designed to stop abuse of Facebook, such as spamming. When someone sends their first MMS with a photo to their profile, the user is sent back a confirmation message with a code or a link.
Vodafone and Nokia have agreed to launch an integrated suite of Vodafone services combined with Nokia Ovi Services on a range of Nokia handsets. These services will offer customers a greater choice of communications, Internet services, content and browsing through a range of premium handsets on high speed 3G and 3G broadband networks. Vodafone and Nokia also have agreed that a number of these handsets will be exclusive to Vodafone.
Customers will get faster and easier access to all of Vodafone's Internet and entertainment services as well as all of Ovi from Nokia services on a wide range of handsets. Vodafone customers will be able to access the widest and most attractive choice of Internet services.
Vodafone and Nokia will make it easier to access the Internet quickly at the click of a button. Customers will get the full suite of communications, content, Internet services and browsing, through seamlessly integrated Vodafone services on Nokia handsets.