Vodafone Moves Major R&D Hub From Silicon Valley To London

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Vodafone xone moves across the pond following Verizon sale, but operator agrees Rogers deal in Canada to increase North American enterprise presence

Vodafone is to move its ‘xone’ research and development (R&D) hub from Silicon Valley to London, hoping that UK and European talent can create new products and services for its customers around the world.

A team of engineers, architects and designers will build and test device prototypes, develop new applications and services and help Vodafone accelerate the time it takes to get the latest mobile technology into the hands of its consumers.

The operator says the main reason for moving its main innovation hub is so it can be closer to its customers in Europe, Africa and India, especially since it now has no consumer presence in the US.

Vodafone xone

vodafone yoda“Establishing a new hub for Vodafone xone in London will bring our product development team closer to the customers it serves,” says Stefano Parisse, Vodafone’s consumer services director. “It will allow us to draw on a vast pool of technology talent in the UK and Europe and simplify our development process, enabling us to get the very latest technology into the hands of our customers as quickly as possible.”

Vodafone sold its 45 percent stake in US operator Verizon Wireless for £78.3 billion earlier this year, but is keen to point out it is not completely retreating from the North American market.

Vodafone Ventures, the firm’s capital investment arm, will maintain its headquarters in California and will continue to invest in early stage startups in the US, while its enterprise communications and IT services unit, Vodafone Global Enterprise, will continue to serve an “increasing number of businesses” in the country.

Rogers Communications deal

The operator has also agreed a partner market deal with Rogers Communications, headed by former Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence. The deal will see consumers profit from 4G roaming, while Vodafone Global Enterprise customers benefit from Canada joining their existing contracts.

Vodafone Global Enterprise, which includes the Cable and Wireless fibre network in the UK, provides domestic and international voice and data, M2M, mobile email and broadband, mobile payment, cloud and unified communication services to customers in 50 countries, and has major contracts with Deutsche Post, Unilever and the Volkswagen Group.

“We are delighted that Rogers has joined our successful Partner Markets community,” adds Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao. “Canada is an important market as we continuously expand our roaming capabilities across North America.”

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