Vodafone to Replace Asian Partner Agreements With New Alliance

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the world’s biggest mobile-phone operator, will replace existing partner agreements in some Asian markets by joining one of the region’s largest alliances.

The agreement with the Conexus Mobile Alliance, which covers at least 10 Asian countries and includes NTT DoCoMo Inc. (9437), Japan’s largest operator, will replace existing local contracts once they expire, the company said in a statement today. The alliance will give customers better network coverage and harmonized roaming rates across multiple countries.

Vodafone, based in Newbury, England, will be able to expand in new markets such as South Korea with Conexus member KT Corp and get agreements with NTT, Singapore-based StarHub Ltd. (STH) and Hutchison Telecommunications in Hong Kong. Vodafone currently has agreements with Japan’s Softbank Corp. (9984), Japan’s third- largest operator, Singapore’s M1 Ltd. and SmarTone Telecommunications Holding Ltd. (315) in Hong Kong.

“The value to Vodafone of collaborating with Conexus will be significant given the growing importance of Asia to our enterprise customers,” Morten Lundal, Vodafone Group Chief Commercial Officer, said.

The company said it won’t seek a roaming agreement with an alliance partner in India, where it recently bought spectrum frequencies for high-speed mobile services.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katie Linsell in London at Klinsell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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