Voda inks deal in Azerbaijan


Vodafone has announced a strategic partnership with Azerbaijani mobile network Azerfon to collaborate jointly on future technological developments.

Under the Partner Market agreement, Azerfon has exclusive access to a range of products, services and devices from Vodafone in Azerbaijan as well as access to Vodafone’s experience in supply chain management, the acquisition of enterprise customers and improved network inter-working. Vodafone’s products will be made available for Azerfon’s customers and potential customers in Azerbaijan.

Azerfon, which is currently constructing a 3G network in the country, will also leverage the partnership to roll out a high-speed mobile data network and mobile broadband products.

The two companies will cooperate to provide additional support to Vodafone Global Enterprise customers, who have a presence in the region.

Vodafone’s products and services will be marketed in Azerbaijan under a co-branded approach and as part of a phased rollout Vodafone will provide Azerfon customers with improved voice and data roaming access across 67 countries where Vodafone is present.

Vodafone Partner Markets chief executive Richard Daly said: “Our agreement with Azerfon is an opportunity for Vodafone to build its presence and work with the fastest growing operator in the country, where mobile penetration is around 75 per cent and growing rapidly. In addition, more of our customers require enhanced roaming services and high-speed mobile broadband products within the region due to the high growth dynamics across all sectors in the country.”

Azerfon chief executive Guido Helbich added: “It is a logical step for Azerfon as the fastest growing mobile operator in the country to continue the development benefiting from Vodafone’s expertise and worldwide success together with the provision of best in class and most innovative products and services from around the world on the local market. It will allow us to reach our potential and better develop the ICT sphere of Azerbaijan.”

Meanwhile, Vodafone has issued a new report in conjunction with consultancy firm Accenture stating that mobile technology could cut Europe’s annual energy bill by at least €43 billion (£37.28) and effect a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 113 megatonnes of CO2 by 2020.

This represents 18 per cent of the UK’s annual CO2 output in 2008 and approximately 2.4 per cent of expected EU emissions in 2020.
The report, titled “Carbon Connections: quantifying mobile’s role in tackling climate change,” demonstrates that mobile technology has the potential to drive carbon reductions across a range of industry sectors across 25 EU countries.

Examples include high definition video conferencing from a mobile handset, rollout of machine to machine (M2M) services, improving the efficiency of electricity grids through wireless devices to monitor power losses, and using mobile technology to track vehicles and their loads to improve the efficiency of logistics operations by utilising vehicles more fully and optimising fuel economy.

The opportunities identified in the report will require about one billion connections, 87 per cent of which will be M2M.

Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “This report demonstrates the important role that mobile technology, in particular smart solutions such as machine to machine services, can play in carbon abatement while at the same time offering a financial saving for our customers.

“The challenge is for governments and industry to work together to create the necessary policy framework and investment conditions to stimulate their prompt deployment.”