Vodafone axes Dextra airtime


Vodafone has axed Dextra for consumer airtime contract connections.

The network was left wide open by Dextra when volume cashback connectors Dial-a-Mobile and Mobile Media Systems, connecting Vodafone via Dextra on redemption rates of around 40 per cent, went under last year.

Dial-a-Mobile was connecting around 2,000 Vodafone customers per month via Dextra. Around 27,000 Vodafone customers were left short by the collapse of Mobile Media Systems, which also used Dextra for connections.

Dextra managing director James Browning said: “Discussions with Vodafone have gone on for several weeks to ensure a smooth exit from the dealer channel for consumer airtime.”

Browning said since the demise of Dial-a-Mobile and Mobile Media Systems, the business has been “desensitised” to such a move; Vodafone consumer connections have comprised an insignificant proportion of Dextra’s overall connections since.

He added: “Since the cashback players on our books left the market, we have been doing pretty modest volumes on Vodafone. It has comprised less than eight per cent of our overall business.”

The move leaves no UK consumer airtime distributor with all five networks on its books.
“While we have seen consumer contract connections stagnate, we have experienced considerable growth in our B2B connections business on O2 and Orange,” said Browning.

“Dial-a-Mobile and Mobile Media Systems were an important part of our Vodafone business and overall consumer business. But B2B connections now make up more than 50 per cent of our connections; it was closer to 20 per cent a year ago.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Dextra remains an important part of the mix for prepay and accessories.”

Sources close to the situation claimed Vodafone’s decision to axe Dextra from contract airtime connections comes ahead of a broader review of distribution, and that certain B2B airtime connectors will be hit also.

Vodafone denied any change its B2B partners was planned.

Meanwhile, Vodafone head of indirect enterprise sales Rob Sandford has been replaced by Dale Parkinson on an interim basis. Sandford is understood to have taken a corporate role in Vodafone’s enterprise business unit.