Since 2000, Vodafone and China Mobile have had a strategic alliance that allows them to leverage strengths and knowledge of the partnership to improve their own business. The areas of interest are actually pretty extensive, including:
“exchange of corporate management, technical and operational expertise, enhanced roaming; multinational customers; green technology, network roadmap management, joint innovation and R&D, and promotion of converged LTE technology and LTE terminal development, to improve competitiveness and influence on international organization, value chain and industry by partnership in management, technology and operation.”
The partnership initially focused on roaming and development, so despite Vodafone selling their 3.2% stake in China Mobile last year, the partnership has apparently been very successful as indicated by the growing list of partnership purposes. In case you were wondering, that 3.2% stake was worth 6.6 Billion dollars – that’s a lot of dough.
Being in Barcelona, it became painfully obvious how poor roaming services are in terms of affordability. For example, I’m rocking the Optimus 2X on T-Mobile USA which is roaming on Vodafone Espana and it costs $1.29/minute for voice and $10/MB for data. That’s outrageous but carriers get away with it. T-Mobile is a global company and has operations in basically every country across Europe, they should offer 1 month unlimited voice/data plans for international travelers and all they’d need was a strategic partnership with themselves to figure it out. Go figure.
Hopefully more strategic partnerships like this Vodafone and China Mobile deal surface in coming years as travel gets even easier and faster. Plus, I plan on doing more travel myself and I’m greedy. Most of the announcement sounds like PR fluff, but hopefully tangible results come out of the agreement.