back to article We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

Vodafone's new group CEO has vowed to keep shareholders happy by continuing to pay out dividends in his first earnings conference, despite reporting a €7.8bn loss and falling revenue. Former bean-counter Nick Read, a certified chartered accountant, officially took over from Vittorio Colao on 1 October, and has pledged to take …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no more Towers?

    Well AFAIK, you will need more towers to get the data rates at the higher frequencies that are supposed to be what 5G needs. The higher the frequency, the shorter the range for the same data rates.

    That's Voda out of the 5G race around where I live...

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: no more Towers?

      That's Voda out of the 5G race around where I live...

      Not necessarily; it's perhaps simply a case of "towers" not being the best way of providing a 5G network. As has been stated (almost) times without number path losses at SHF are such that a conventional "tower based" system is not the right way; 5G will need lots of "little sites" with aerials on lamp - posts and the like.

      Towers are so yesterday


    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: no more Towers?

      5G doesn't need them.

      In fact, the first 5G rollouts won't even be able to. The licence auction hasn't happened yet.

      The high-freq stuff is merely a nice extra - if you're in range, you'll get "even faster" but existing towers and even some existing frequencies will always be used (and not just by "fallback to 4G").

      5G doesn't "need" anything beyond what's already there. It just makes it slightly faster and have clearer channels.

      It's like saying you "need" 5GHz for 802.11n. No. You don't. It'll still be faster on 2.4GHz than b and g ever were. But if you're able to use that higher frequency too, you'll go even faster.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no more Towers?

        I would immediately suspect that this isn't about 5G, masts or towers as such, and that a plan is being hatched to shunt Vodafone's physical infrastructure or elements of that into a separate AssetCo, which will be sold off wholly or partially to infrastructure investors. Conceptually the same as sale and leaseback for a high street retailer (fat lot of good it did them).

        The longer term ramifications are that Vodafone becomes an MVNO with a global brand, and other than for the global pretensions and scale, would be wholly undifferentiated from the likes of iD Mobile or Tesco Mobile. Being Vodafone, this clever new MVNO will still remain too high and its customer service will remain shit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no more Towers?

          I suspect you are correct I remember when Voda had the best coverage and speeds but the UK 4g service was deliberately degraded and undermaintained to finance mostly failed adventures abroad.

          Colaeo's record was pretty poor except for fluking the Verizon payout, as his no 2 Read needs to take a decent amount of responsibility for the same.

          Basically it's a rotting corpse whose latest dividends are the last gas escaping from its putrid insides.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: no more Towers?

            Best coverage and speed? You should do stand up.

  2. djstardust Silver badge

    How about some bloody staff?

    I have had an open query with Vodafone Broadband for 2 weeks now.

    3 separate chat conversations over several days then pushed on to a phone team who are equally as unresponsive. Apparently "tickets" have been raised that take 5 days to resolve, and when I phoned yesterday after the 5 days they told me to wait another 5 days.

    Fkin useless.

    1. G R Goslin

      Re: How about some bloody staff?

      Only two weeks. You should be so lucky. I gave up trying (And Vodafone) after seven months of total inaction on the part of Vodafone. And that was regarding a complaint that an issue which should have taken less than two weeks to resolve, took seven weeks to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion. Voda'a atttitude that losing a customer due to poor service doesn't matter, since there's plenty of other fools coming through the door. It's pretty typical with most of the service industry.

  3. smudge Silver badge

    Age discrimination?

    VOXI bundles social media data usage in for free, and has an age limit for new subscribers: if you're over 30, you get shunted off to Vodafone proper.

    I can't be bothered looking up the details, but at first glance that looks like age discrimination, which would surely not legal.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Age discrimination?

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. IsJustabloke Silver badge

      Re: Age discrimination?

      Do a lot of "social media" do you ?

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Age discrimination?

        You may be misinterpreting the nature of the discrimination.

        The problem here is that they're accepting customers under 30 and shoving vile, misanthropic, poisonous social media at them.

        Customers over 30 get a normal service (fsvo normal).

        It's age discrimination all right, but it's the under 30s that are getting the nasty end.

      2. smudge Silver badge

        Re: Age discrimination?

        Do a lot of "social media" do you ?

        No. I'm a 29 year old lawyer with a nose for business.

  4. jwa

    A technical company run by an accountant, what could go wrong!

    1. LDS Silver badge

      A technical company?

      They lease to the customers the use of equipment they buy (or lease) from technical companies, and pay outsourced companies to install, maintain and configure it. They basically run the accounting and marketing parts - where money are made charging the customers as much as they can - sometimes even more, as when in Italy they introduced the "28 days month" (now they have to reimburse customers) - while devising plans nobody really understands.

      Long are gone the times when telcos designed and deployed their own hardware...

      Colao hiimself was previously the CEO of a media publishing company... where he was hacked by people working for Telecom Italia (now TIM). So, business as usual.

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Could be worse.

      It could be high profile "sports" such as The Premier League or F1 that are now, or very soon will be, run by "media" people with no background in sports. What could go wrong indeed.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    pay out dividends...despite reporting a €7.8bn

    Eh? I thought dividends were supposed to be a share of the profits?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: pay out dividends...despite reporting a €7.8bn

      But they are - it's just that, this year, they'll be a share of past profits.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "creating a virtual tower company"

    With virtual performance as well, I'll wager.

    And virtual customer satisfaction.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: "creating a virtual tower company"

      Oh well, just wait for the virtual customers paying virtual bills with virtual money that disapears in a flash.

  7. Simon Rockman

    It all depends on what you mean by 5G

    If you mean 3GPP release 15 - which is the official definition - then you can do all that at existing spectrum and not build anything. Go on marketing, call it 5G.

    If you want Ericsson's vision of 5G which is 500MHz of contiguous spectrum then you are going to need to go to millimeter wave. That's lots and lots more sites. Maybe not towers but buying streetlights is still shareholder baiting capex.

    If you want the IoT view of 5G which is a million connections per square kilometer you need lots of backhaul.Again not towers but significant capex.

    And testing 5G with its MIMO, Beamforming and full duplex is hard, very, very hard much more so than 4G so again needs a lot more capex.

    Thinking in towers is simplistic.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still need more towers in the UK just to complete 4G coverage

    Still plenty of areas on the outskirts of Cambridge with little or no 4G coverage (or marginal outside, drops out indoors).

    And Vodafone already shares lots of 4G infrastructure in the UK with O2. Interesting the O2 and Vodafone common sites even have the same eNodeB numbers on both O2 and Voda.

  9. HamsterNet


    I wasn't aware that Vodaphone had a 3G network covering more than city centres, let alone 4G.

    Seems the only people I meet who are on that network are old schoolers who miss (or still use) their black and white screened blackberries.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019