Vodafone’s busy 2019 has concluded with the sale of its Maltese operations to Monaco Telecom.
A price of €250 million has been agreed for Vodafone Malta, which will continue to operate under the Vodafone brand for a transitional period shortly after.
Although not a seismic development in the telecoms industry, it is the latest stage in a programme of acquisitions, partnerships and spin offs at Vodafone over the past 12 months.
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The Newbury-based operator has overhauled its management structure, subsuming the ‘Rest of the World’ division into the rest of its operations, and undertaking several measures to reduce its debt as it invests in 5G and converged networks.
Earlier this year it completed the sale of Vodafone New Zealand for €2.1 billion, cut its dividend, and transferred its European tower assets to a new separate legal entity. This created the largest tower company in the continent with 62,000 towers in ten countries. The company is tasked with identifying monetisation options - such as offering space to third parties - and could eventually float on the stock exchange.
In addition to selling some of its assets, Vodafone is also licensing its brand to other operators. The Vodafone brand will be used by a new mobile network in Oman, mimicking a similar long-standing arrangement in Iceland.
The next major action is set to be the expansion of its M-Pesa payment platform to cover the entire of Africa. M-Pesa is already Africa’s largest such platform, offering money services to customers without a bank account, having launched in 2007. However Vodafone believes there is huge potential, ready to be tapped.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.