Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US

Just over a year after selling its Verizon Wireless stake, Vodafone has revealed that it will reenter the US market next year using T-Mobile's network to serve its multinational corporate customers.

Vodafone Americas revealed Friday that it has struck a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal with T-Mobile US Inc. . Vodafone says that the agreement will allow it to serve multinational corporations with wireless services in the US.

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has "more than 400" multinational customers based in the US. A further 500 multinational corporate customers have a strong presence in the US, Vodafone says.

The service will launch in the fall of 2015. It is a further international expansion for Vodafone, which says it has networks in 27 countries -- including 16 Vodafone markets with 4G LTE networks -- and more than 75 countries where it has partner agreements.

For more on mobile, check out our mobile content channel here on Light Reading.

T-Mobile is one of the logical choices for an MVNO network in the US for international Vodafone users who may not have 4G LTE phones but can connect on T-Mobile's 3G GSM-based network in the US.

Larger GSM and LTE rival AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) would be the other logical choice for a US partner network for Vodafone. Despite regular chatter about a merger between Vodafone and AT&T, however, T-Mobile has won this particular deal with the UK-based giant. (See Euronews: Vodafone Shares up on AT&T Takeover Rumor.)

Vodafone sold its stake in US 3G CDMA and LTE operator Verizon Wireless for $130 billion in September 2013 and closed the deal in February 2014. (See Vodafone Agrees to $130B Verizon Stake Sale.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
mhhf1ve 12/18/2014 | 7:25:47 PM
As a T-mobile customer... I wonder how much capacity T-mobile will have once it signs these deals... T-mobile likes to tout that it has plenty of data available per user, but as it gains more users and signs MNVO deals, that data/user stat is going to fall. T-mobile already uses its network for Metro PCS, so how are consumers going to be affected by network congestion, if at all?   
pzernik 12/16/2014 | 5:20:37 PM
Re: Merger Well since Dish is expected to be a big winner in the AWS-3 auction, look for a possible merger with DISH and a Tier-1 operator down the line,
lanbrown 12/15/2014 | 10:29:21 PM
Re: Merger But the FCC, FTC, etc. are not willing to allow mergers between the big four though.  They may allow smaller players to be picked up though, but those picking are slim and don't really help in terms of the big profit areas that the big four have covered.
pzernik 12/15/2014 | 10:19:51 PM
Re: Merger Merger rumors in all have subsided, but expect them to pick up after the AWS-3 aution is completed - to see who's spectrum complements who's spectrum.  It's all about spectrum holdings, customers are secondary.
lanbrown 12/15/2014 | 3:49:48 PM
Re: Merger Indeed it does as if there were a 50% or greater chance of a merger, you would think that they would pick AT&T to be their partner.  T-Mobile is a competitor in the rest of the world and giving your competitor money is never a wise move.


I think the big issue with any merger, the cost.  AT&T would not be cheap to buy nor would Vodafone.  The cheapest route would be a merger of equals but in reality, one side has to be the sronger partner as you usually don't want two CEO's.  So, which side would want to be the weaker of the two?
DanJones 12/15/2014 | 2:44:02 PM
Re: Merger The AT&T/Vodafone merger/M&A is a persistent rumor so far. Haven't seen any evidence that it will happen yet.

In fact, this MVNO deal with T-Mobile tends to hint that nothing is happening at all with AT&T & Vodafone, doesn't it?
DanJones 12/15/2014 | 2:23:40 PM
Re: Merger I would expect so. They're buying up low-band licenses when and where they can to try and push out their coverage and capacity. More MVNOs is one obvious outcome of that.
MarkC73 12/15/2014 | 1:52:37 PM
Re: Merger I wonder if T-Mo will be more willing to do more MVNO agreements, like how Sprint has been doing?  And if so how would that potentially affect Sprint.  Though I doubt that's a significant portion of Sprints revenue or focus.
lanbrown 12/15/2014 | 1:50:10 PM
Re: Merger If Vodafone and AT&T would merge, how would that hurt competition?  You still have the same number of US players.  Vodafone has zero customers at present in the US, so the net add to AT&T would zero.  AT&T would neither grow nor shrink in that merger in terms of customers.  So if a merger did occur, why would it be denied?


Sprint and T-Mobile doing a merger reduces the number of competitors in the field.  AT&T and Vodafone would not.
DanJones 12/15/2014 | 10:02:42 AM
Re: Merger It's not a merger. T-Mobile is basically renting the use of its network for Vodafone corporate customers in the US.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sign In