Vodafone signs deal in UAE


Vodafone has signed a ‘partner market’ agreement in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with integrated telecom service provider du.

Vodafone said the exclusive strategic partnership – the first of its kind in the UAE – would help both companies to better serve the needs of their respective customers in the region.
The agreement means du will have exclusive access to Vodafone’s range of products, devices and services in the UAE and will be able to draw on Vodafone’s experience in supply chain management, technology development, the acquisition of enterprise customers from multinational companies as well as improved inter-working between networks.

The partnership will also provide du customers improved voice and data roaming access across 67 countries. In turn, Vodafone will be able to use du’s 3G network to offer its customers a range of services, which utilise ‘home’ network capabilities as well as extended coverage within the UAE. The partnership will also enable multinational companies located outside the UAE and with local operations to meet their needs for unified communications, centralised customer care and Vodafone services using du lines.

Vodafone partner markets chief executive Hatem Dowidar said: “Through this agreement with du, Vodafone will be able to increase its brand recognition and extend its product range to a key market with a growing population. Mobile usage in the UAE is growing steadily and more of our customers require enhanced roaming services to and from the region.”

du chief executive Osman Sultan added: “The partnership with Vodafone will enable du and our customers to join the world’s largest international mobile network, whilst maintaining the advantages of being a local operator, thus supporting our prime mission of best serving the UAE population. This alliance will bring substantial benefits to our customers and shareholders, becoming a catalyst for expanding our service portfolio and improving our operational efficiency. “
Future developments of the du-Vodafone partnership will include offering customers mobile broadband connectivity products for PCs as well as secure, remote mobile access for small business users and converged email solutions. The two companies will also work to together to bring more quickly to market new and exclusive handset models.

Meanwhile, Vodafone has completed its recommended public cash offer to the shareholders of Swedish location-based service provider Wayfinder.

The move has been accepted by shareholders holding 16,295,612 shares in Wayfinder, representing approximately 81.75 per cent of the total number of shares. In addition, Vodafone has acquired 3,266,420 shares in Wayfinder in the market and in private transactions representing about 16.39 per cent of the total number of shares and votes in Wayfinder.

Vodafone will eventually hold 19,562,032 shares in Wayfinder, representing approximately 98.13 per cent of the total number of shares. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the month.