Consumers still the heart of Vodafone business

Vodafone New Zealand has reorganised itself to better reflect the new mobile data market instead of the old voice-centric mobile phone market.

Vodafone New Zealand has reorganised itself to better reflect the new mobile data market instead of the old voice-centric mobile phone market.

Vodafone now has two distinct divisions, business and consumer, and will be taking quite different approaches to each market, according to new CEO Tim Miles. Miles took up the role at the start of the year following former CEO Arthur Neely's move to Vodafone Asia Pacific.

"There are some people out there saying we're getting out of the consumer market and that's just rubbish. Our plan for consumers has changed, however." Previously Vodafone has concentrated on increasing customer numbers but now that new customers are slowing, Miles is switching the company's attention not surprisingly to growing the elusive "value per customer" quotient.

"Consumers are still the heart of the Vodafone business and in the past we've run with a lot of locally initiated services. From here on in you'll still see them but we're also using more from our overseas' sister companies."

The other half of the business, the corporate market, will also take its cues from other Vodafone divisions, in particular Vodafone Sweden.

"They started life as a business provider and they've got solutions there that we're crying out for. It's not as easy as just plugging it in and switching it on but we'll be taking a hard look at getting some of those up and running in a short while." Miles wouldn't be drawn on just what services Vodafone is looking at, except to say they would be launching new products and services in the next few months.

Miles says competition with Telecom won't be affected by the new technology platforms both companies have adopted for one good reason: customers don't care about technology.

"It's true their system [CDMA] is a huge step up for them from their existing one [D-AMPS] but at the end of the day it's about service and solutions not about CDMA versus GPRS and I think with our solutions we're onto a winner."

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