Data becomes watchword at Vodafone

Vodafone is plotting a new strategy to account for growth in mobile data services, after a strong fiscal 1Q11 was driven by high demand for data in key markets.
The world’s largest carrier is ready to make the switch after its current strategy helped it report its first rise in service revenues for nearly two years during the quarter, which covers calendar 2Q10, reports.
Emerging markets – in particular India – played a key role in taking the firm back into the black in terms of service revenues, while the UK and Germany bucked a slight downward trend in the metric in Europe with their third consecutive rise.
The 4.9% rise in group service revenues to £10.5 billion (€12.5 billion) helped raise overall revenues 4.8% to £11.2 billion.
“We have achieved these results through our continuing commercial approach in key European markets, focusing especially on data, and from strong growth in emerging markets,” chief executive Vittorio Colao said, adding that India is “now cash positive at an operating level.”
The focus on data revenues resulted in a 25.4% rise to £1.2 billion during the quarter, more than offsetting a slight 4.3% fall in group voice revenues to £6.9 billion.
Net subscriber additions of 10.8 million during the quarter took the carrier’s total to 331 million, some 77.5% of which are pre-pay users.
The increased service revenues could earn Vodafone’s board some breathing space from growing investor unrest regarding its market capitalization, which they claim does not meet analyst’s valuations, reported.