Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes Vodafone’s biggest ever annual investment in the UK
Vodafone is to open 150 shops and create 1,400 jobs in the UK as part of a £1 billion investment in its network and associated services during 2014.
The British operator, which recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Vodafone brand, plans to invest £19 billion across all of its networks worldwide in the next two years, improving its 2G, 3G and 4G networks, while investing in fixed line networks across Europe.
Vittorio Colao, Vodafone CEO, would not reveal how much of this money was earmarked for the UK, only revealing that it was investing heavily in London due to the number of big companies there, but the company says the £1 billion is the most it has ever invested in the UK in a single year.
Vodafone retail store
“This year we’ll invest more than ever before to provide our customers with the strongest network and best services in the UK,” said Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK CEO. “We’re also committed to putting our brand and our people where our customers want us: right at the heart of their high street and shopping centre. Our £100 million retail investment this year will increase our ability to serve our customers better with highly skilled personal advice and support in 150 brand-new locations.”
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Vodafone’s expansion plans in the UK, declaring it a boost for the UK economy.
“This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the UK workforce from a company investing for the future to harness the next generation of digital services,” he said. “It is a sign that our long-term economic plan to create jobs and build a stronger, more competitive economy is working, helping ensure a better and more financially secure future for Britain, for hardworking people and their families.”
Vodafone has invested heavily in fixed line networks across Europe in recent years as it seeks to offset falling mobile revenues, especially in southern Europe. It is constructing fibre networks in Spain and Italy, while it has also agreed deals to buy Spanish cable operator Ono and German firm Kabel Deutschland, and is the preferred bidder for a government-assisted superfast network in Ireland.
However despite the purchase of Cable & Wireless in 2012, it has no UK consumer fixed line presence, leading to speculation it could make an acquisition in its homeland using some of the money raised by the sale of its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless last year.