Page 1: Introduction
Vodafone is a leading international mobile communications company with interests in 27 countries and partnership agreements with a further 40 countries, including Safaricom in Kenya. It has over 71,000 employees throughout the world and in 2008 had more than 289 million customers. In the UK, more than 19 million people use Vodafone services.
Vodafone's vision is 'to be the world's mobile communications leader' and a key component of this is to ensure that customers trust and admire the company. It achieves this by taking a responsible approach to the way it conducts its business. This enhances its reputation and builds customer loyalty. Vodafone's business strategy and its Corporate Responsibility (CR) strategy are interlinked. Vodafone believes that long-term commercial rewards come from doing business in a sustainable way.
Vodafone's approach to business is two-fold:
- to provide product extension - new features, dimensions and services in saturated markets. These are areas like the UK, USA and Europe which have sophisticated users who want and expect new functions from their mobiles. Developing new ways of delivering products and services helps to keep existing customers and attract new ones. For example, 3G technology has improved the ability and quality of transferring voice and data. Very fast internet speeds allow extended services such as video calling, music downloads, mobile television and email messaging.
- to look for opportunities in emerging markets. These include some of the world”s more remote areas, including parts of Africa, where many people do not yet have access to a mobile phone. The less developed infrastructure in these areas makes traditional landline telecommunications difficult. Vodafone is committed to providing these markets with the technology to develop communication that will help both economically and socially. There are now more than four billion mobile phones across the world and 64% of all users live in a developing country.
This case study highlights Vodafone's activities in different types of economies and the impact of technology on both developed and developing markets.