Vodafone Admits It Dropped The Ball, Looks Towards 2013

If you thought Vodafone has had a couple of bad years, well, you're right. In an interview aired today on the ABC's Inside Business, company CEO Bill Morrow did not shy away from the troubles Vodafone has encountered in recent times -- including its remarkable fall from grace with customers in Australia.

"It wasn't that long ago that Vodafone was on top of the mark. We had one of the highest preference scores amongst consumers, and I think the reality is the market got ahead of Vodafone," Morrow told IB host Alan Kohler. Morrow went on to say that Vodafone wasn't prepared for the massive surge in the popularity of smartphones.

"That drove a different kind of demand on the network and it got ahead of the company. The investment wasn't there at the time, but it is now and that's what we're correcting," he said.

Vodafone is now working to improve its network, which it hopes to have sorted by the end of next year and while it has had customers say "they feel a difference", it still has a lot of work to do. Morrow is confident it has everything it needs to embrace the 4G era, with the spectrum it gained from the 3 merger putting the company in a "very nice, healthy [and] deep position".

"In fact, 1800MHz is the one that I'm the most excited about, we have 30MHz of spectrum and that is perfect for LTE as we go forward into the 4G bands," he said.

Regarding NBN, Morrow was extremely positive. "I think NBN is a fabulous thing. I have a long history in both fixed and wireless mobile and when I see what Australia is doing with the NBN, I think it's the perfect model going forward," he said.

[Inside Business, via ZDNet]



    good to see Vodafone owning up for mistakes in the past. I'm with Vodafone and don't have a problem with them. there's a lot of unnecessary stigma attached to the company that shouldn't exist. in my opinion their rates and pricing are arguably the best in Australia out of the three major carriers.

    I've been on VF for over three years now. I've noticed the network get better but it's still not as good as the competition. Since upgrading to an iPhone 5 the connection has been way better. Not sure if that's the network or the phone.

    All that aside I have over 5gb of data for $49 a month which is what I use the most. The competition would never offer me anything close to that so I'm not switching anytime soon.

      Liveconnected on the optus network is cheaper if you bring your own device.

        Good luck getting customer service if something goes wrong

      Not sure if a Voda customer, or a Voda employee. Sounds like the latter.

        Pretty sure he isn't we all pretty much hate Vodafone because of all the crap we've had to put up with and get blamed for

    My Vodafone contract is up in November. I receive a call from someone at Vodafone every couple of months telling me I can get a brand new phone right now if I resign for 2 more years. No F'n way. This contract has been like a gaol sentence. Such poor data network basically makes my smartphone useless. Can't wait to jump to Telstra. They may be a little bit more expensive but at least they know what they're doing.

      You can get out of a Vodafone contract ANY time you like if they have not delivered the service that you contracted for them to provide. Look for the appropriate form letter on the vodafail website and send it to Vodafone, they are obligated to release you from your contract.

      Couldn't agree more!

      Ironically I have been with Vodafone (trouble free) ever since engaging the ombudsman over an issue I was having with Telstra. Lesson learnt, while I may consider providers other thant Vodafone, I will never have another contract with Telstra again, just the shear idiocy of the problem I had and the fact that every attemp they made to fix it just made things worse left me convinced that they were totally utterly clueless.

    If they are not going to have things fixed until the end of next year then they are dead and buried. People have been complaining about Vodafone since well before the smart phone and data requirements, if they can't support data and coverage it doesn't matter how much and how cheap it is.

    What Bill forgot to mention is that VHA has 30mhz of 1800 spectrum -- in metro. Elsewhere they have like 5mhz of it. So if they do not participate in buying more spectrum then their chances of having a semi decent LTE network outside of metro are very slim.

    They are turning into Hutchison/3 prior to the merger where they focus on metro only. Don't be surprised if Voda LTE is metro only and they stick with 3G/Optus 3G roaming outside of metro for a few years to come

    I'm with Vodafone and my reception at home is absolutely terrible

    Vodafone has dropped the ball alright and I'm just about to drop them.
    I have maintained and dutifully kept recharged an old 2G sim in a backup phone for more than 20 years. Just the other week I received a text from Vodafone informing me that they were about to rob me of all my accumulated vf to vf minutes. Goodbye vodafone. Forever.

    Anywhere out of the major population areas the coverage is still crap. My partner is with T and full coverage everywhere. She can have 5 bars coverage and I'll have SOS only. SOS Vodafone you'll be losing another customer when my contract is up.

    Lol! Vodafone has improved while the competition falters. Optus reception has gotten so bad lately. I am lucky if my phone says 3G on any given day. Their 4g is a joke too. My partner is on Voda and she gets reception where I don't. Optus sent us a letter recently advising is from April next year they will roam on Voda towers so maybe they see the improvements too. Maybe it's going to take a bit longer for them to get it perfect but it sure beats Optus. I will be happy to switch when my contract ends in march and switch to Vodafone. Telstra clearly is the best but the charge like theirs no tomorrow.

    Oh and no prepaid lets you accumulate free minutes any more so if that's your reason for leaving them you are not getting any love elsewhere that's for sure.

      What? Optus won't be roaming on any parts of the Vodafone network. It's the other way round
      There will be site sharing where each carrier installs their own individual equipment on the one physical site. I smell VHA employee

      Agreed, I lost reception in the middle of Sydney on Saturday night and couldn't contact my wife to pick her up. 1 month into the Optus network and it will be that last month. Vodafone is better then Optus hands down

    I used to reside in a city and found Vodafone's reception and data speeds satisfactory. Then I moved to the Wide Bay area in QLD for work and was appalled by the data speeds. A visit to a local Voda store informed me that the only signal available is the old 2G network which made my smartphone basically useless. I promptly changed to Telstra and I am currently appreciating 2-4kbps data speed. I almost converted to the Optus network but I'm lucky I didn't because there has been a major network overload / failure for the last 3 months because everyone I know (not exaggerating) who uses the Optus network is experiencing extremely slow data speeds from about 7am to 9pm and it makes minimal difference if you're standing directly in front of the data exchange towers.

    Hubby & I were Vodafail customers since 1996. Voda went downhill after the merger not because of the smartphone era. Gr8 plans with no coverage and disgraceful customer service forced us to look elsewhere with no regrets.

    Dropping the ball is a huge understatement! I've was with VF for 4 years and cannot believe the issues I had and no proper reception or data for a good 6 months in 2010/2011. Moved to Telstra and couldn't be happier :)

    I had been a long term Vodafone customer but with the iPhone 5 I moved to Telstra. Best. Move. Ever.

    Network is amazing and it has been one of those "grass is greener" moments but the grass really is greener.

    Sorry Voda I have been a long term supporter but Telstra is amaze.

    The beginning of the end for me was when they moved their customer services offshore; VF used to have one of the best call centres I'd ever dealt with as a customer, which they destroyed to save a few bucks. That, coupled with the all-too-familiar data issues (still getting almost unusable EDGE connection between Central and Redfern) mean I'm out as soon as I've paid off my handset unless something drastic improves by the end of the year.

    One of the few lucky Vodafone users I guess
    Had no problems with signal/reception/data so far, internet speed is good enough, I think the so called 3G+ has slightly improved internet speeds, at least in my case
    Hopefully their expected 4G roll out doesn't become a screw up like the 3G

    Vodafone is terrible, but Telstra 3G data performance in Melbourne's CBD has gone down the crapper. Been with Telstra for 16 years and up until recently have always said I wouldn't leave Telstra if you paid me.

    But Optus' 4G network actually sounds genuinely tempting.

      I agree with Shpeshal - Telstra NextG is not as great as their marketing wants you to believe.

      For me, 3G speeds in Melbourne's CBD are shocking almost all day long. Full strength signal, great coverage, sure. But data is heavily congested: I nearly always get < 1Mbps and the fastest I ever got in the CBD, just once, was 3.95Mbps in June 2012.

      A far cry from the theoretical top speeds of 21Mbps used to market NextG. They should call it Telstra CrapG.

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