Vodafone Hutchison Australia
|Headquarters||"Coca-Cola Place" 40 Mount Street, North Sydney, NSW, 2060|
|Key people||Bill Morrow (CEO)|
|Products||Prepaid and postpaid mobile phones, wireless broadband|
|Employees||4,500 (as of January 2010)|
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is a mobile telecommunications company that operates the Vodafone, '3' and Crazy John's brands in Australia. The result of a merger between Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, it created a mobile communications entity of nearly 7 million subscribers, A$4 billion in annual revenue and a 27 per cent market share making it Australia's third largest mobile telecommunications provider behind Telstra and Optus.
The joint venture entity is owned by Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa) and by Vodafone Group plc on a 50-50 basis. It was formed on 10 June 2009, after shareholder and ACCC approval. At the time of the merger, Former VHA chief executive Nigel Dews said "the first priority is around people and getting the organisation and the organisational structure sorted out", and that head office functions would see the greatest redundancies.
VHA began phasing out the Three brand in mid-2011. At the time registration of new subscribers to Three ended and would instead become Vodafone customers. The Three network was shut down completely on 30 August 2013.
- Vodafone's GSM
- Vodafone's 2G GSM service on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz covers 94.52% of the population. In major cities the 2G GSM network offers GPRS data connections, elsewhere the faster EDGE is available.
- Vodafone's 3G 2100 MHz
- Vodafone's UMTS network is available in metro areas of major cities and some larger regional centres covering 80% of the population. In major cities, Optus and Vodafone share towers and a single set of 3G antennas and feeders, as well as equipment shelters for their respective base stations - and for some locations share a 3G base station as well. Outside of major cities, Vodafone and Optus work independently. 3G users outside of major cities use either Vodafone 2100 MHz 3G towers, Vodafones new 3G 900 MHz 3G coverage, or fall back to GSM services.
- Vodafone's 3G 900 MHz
- Expansion of Vodafone's 3G UMTS network was completed in October 2009, and uses 900 MHz for 3G services outside of capital cities, to equal or surpass their older GSM coverage.
- Vodafone's 3G 850 MHz
- Vodafone are currently rolling out new 850 MHz 3G towers and adding 850 MHz equipment to existing towers, to boost signal in-building, relieve capacity in metropolitan areas and provide a better experience for 850 MHz compatible smartphones. The 850 MHz spectrum belonged to Hutchison prior to the merger and was used by their brand Orange.
- Three's 3G 2100 MHz
- Three operates a 2100 MHz 3G network in a 50/50 partnership with Telstra (the radio networks are shared, the core networks are separate), covering approximately 56% of Australia's population. The 3G network covers Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Geelong, Frankston and Wollongong. In areas not covered by the joint 3G network, customers are able to roam on Telstra's Next G 850 MHz 3G network (if the phone supports it), and Telstra's 900 MHz and 1800 MHz 2G networks. This agreement allows Three to offer coverage to up to 96% of the population. On 31 August 2012, this network was shut down following the termination of the network sharing agreement.
The Vodafone 2G and 3G (2100/900 MHz) networks originally operated as a single network, separate to the Three network. During the merger, VHA had made no comment on their intention to combine the 3 and Vodafone networks, or offer roaming between them. However, as of late 2009, roaming onto the Vodafone's 2G network was enabled for Three customers in areas that had limited 3G coverage (e.g. blackspots), handsets now show '3 2G' instead of 'Roaming'. There are no additional charges in '3's 2G zone', although data speeds are limited.
In late 2010 VHA announced plans to consolidate the Three and Vodafone networks, in an attempt to better compete with Telstra's Next G network, which currently holds the most number of subscribers in Australia (9.3 million). The plan includes the expansion of UMTS 900/2100 MHz coverage in 900 metropolitan sites and 500 outer metropolitan sites across Australia, an end to the 3GIS network (3's UMTS 2100 MHz network, which it has a 50% stake with, the other 50% being held by Telstra), as well as the roll out of 1400 UMTS-850 base stations - 850 MHz being the same band in which the Next G network operates. VHA has spent $550 million on the project so far.
Before the merger:
- Vodafone Group plc owned Vodafone Australia Limited (which runs the Vodafone network)
- Hutchison Whampoa Limited owned 52% of Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited ("HTAL"), which owned Hutchison 3G Australia Pty Limited ("H3GA") (which runs the "3" network)
In the merger, Hutchison 3G Australia was renamed Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd, and 50% was sold to Vodafone Group.
The ownership structure of the merged entity became:
- Vodafone Group owns 50% of Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd
- Hutchison Telecommunications Australia owns 50% of Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd
- Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd owns 100% of Vodafone Australia Limited
During the merger, Vodafone Hutchison Australia announced it would buy out its Vodafone branded stores, previously run by the retail management groups Digicall, First Mobile, Inside Mobile and GSM. The new retail structure will lift VHA's current headcount by 1,400 to 5,100 staff, and add over 170 stores.
"3"-branded stores are already owned by VHA.
- VHA spends $80m on retail buyback
- "Company Profile". Crazy John's. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- Hutchison Telecommunications Australia release to Australian Securities Exchange, 10 June 2009
- Allen, Danny (2011-08-31). "Vodafone Ends New 3 Mobile Customer Registrations". Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "Moving from 3 to Vodafone". Vodafone Australia. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "Optus and Vodafone finalise agreement to rollout shared 3G net" (Press release). Optus. 19 November 2004. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
- "Network Coverage". Vodafone Hutchison Australia.
- "Telstra, Hutchison share 3G network". ZDNet. 4 August 2004.
- "Telstra - 3G & Next G Information". Telstra. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- "Network changes - Three". Vodafone Hutchison Australia. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- Colley, Andrew (22 October 2010). "VHA in major 3G upgrade". The Australian. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
- Group Structure
- Vodafone Australia: Facts & Figures