Vodafone yesterday detailed a fresh Asia Pacific strategy, just days after several local partners announced the end of the operator’s current deals in the region.
The UK-headquartered operator is teaming up with Conexus, a regional alliance of WCDMA and HSPA carriers, to extend its partnership opportunities in Asia Pacific and simplify the process of forming those deals. Conexus chairman Andrew Kwok says adding Vodafone will take the alliance’s combined customer base to 600 million across 70 countries.
Vodafone initially plans collaborations with six Conexus members - FarEasTone in Taiwan, Hutchison Telecom in Hong Kong, Japanese number one NTT DoCoMo, Filipino operator SMART, StarHub in Singapore, and TrueMove in Thailand. However Paul Gerhard Itjeshorst, acting CEO of Vodafone’s partner markets business, says the group will seek to do deals with as many Conexus operators as possible – noting the approach makes expansion easier than the previous single carrier method.
The operator unveiled the agreement just days after current partners M1 in Singapore and Hong Kong’s SmarTone announced they are severing ties with Vodafone. Those announcements followed hot on the heels of similar statements from Softbank in Japan, Chungwha in Taiwan, and Thai operator DTAC.