Vodafone Achieves Key Milestones in Technological Update

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Network investment delivers impact – reaches milestone site targets - - 900 sites live in new 850MHz network; 2,000 sites with new equipment - - VHA delivers on merger synergies -

Vodafone today announced its accelerated network and service improvements are delivering a better customer experience, with key milestones reached. 900 sites are now live in new the 850MHz network built for smartphones and data, and 2,000 sites in the existing network have been replaced with new equipment. By the middle of next year there will be 1,500 sites in the new 850MHz network and 8,000 sites where equipment has been replaced.

“We are bringing customers a network that delivers better indoor coverage, faster downloads and a stronger signal than before from Vodafone”, said Nigel Dews, CEO Vodafone Hutchison Australia. “The benefits of our accelerated investment are starting to show.”

Earlier this year Vodafone announced it had fast-tracked its $1 billion network investment. Overnight teams are now replacing equipment across approximately 60 sites a night, with the new 850MHz network rolling out simultaneously. In metropolitan areas the average 3G dropped call rate is down to 0.5%. 4G capable equipment is also being introduced as part of the network upgrade.

To make the most of the new network, Vodafone’s Christmas device range all work on Vodafone’s new 850MHz network, and feature new smartphones from HTC (including the Vodafone exclusive HTC Sensation XL and XE), Nokia and Samsung as well as the popular Apple iPhone range and Apple iPad2.

Service improvements are also now well bedded down including: 24/7 Care; a call back service for customers when wait times are longer than 3 minutes (customers can also select when they are called); extended support times for support via Twitter and Facebook; a new customer forum for support and answers; an enhanced coverage checker to check coverage by postcode; First Point Resolution for store staff to resolve customer issues quickly, and a Customer Concierge service in stores to direct customers to the best staff member.

Vodafone is also introducing a state of the art customer contact system. ‘One Connect’ will continuously monitor all service channels (including Vodafone’s contact centre, Twitter and Facebook accounts and Vodafone’s eForum) and then route the enquiry to the customer service representative with the best skill to respond - improving service and response times.

Delivering benefits of the merger

The integration and upgrade of the network, IT infrastructure, stores and offices has progressed well, with the target merger synergies of $2bn NPV already achieved. “While there are still more savings to come, this is a good position to be in given the additional investment we are making in the network, and I am pleased this is delivering improvements in our customers’ experience,” said Dews.

About Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) operates the Vodafone, 3, and Crazy John’s brands.

Formed in June 2009 following a merger between Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, VHA provides mobile services to over 7.2 million customers in Australia. http://www.vodafone.com.au

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Michelle O’Brien
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