Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the second-largest wireless company, will increase U.K. investment by 50 percent to 900 million pounds ($1.37 billion) as it upgrades its network for faster speeds and services for businesses.
Vodafone is increasing spending for the fiscal year ending in March as it prepares to release its faster, fourth-generation mobile network “by the late summer,” the Newbury, England-based company said in a statement.
The company will use the funds to integrate newly acquired fixed-line assets from the 1.3 billion-pound deal for Cable & Wireless Worldwide last year, Vodafone said. The deal increased the size of Vodafone’s enterprise unit, allowing it to offer bundles of computer networking and phone services to business customers, and gave it additional infrastructure to offload wireless data.
“We’re bringing together the best of mobile and fixed communications to help our business customers make their communications work for them,” Vodafone U.K. Chief Executive Officer Guy Laurence said in the statement. “For consumers, it’s another important step toward the arrival of our ultra-fast 4G service later this year.”
Vodafone is pursuing a similar strategy across Europe and has announced network sharing deals with Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) and Telefonica SA (TEF) to give customers in Germany and Spain access to high-speed Internet service.
Vodafone fell 1.8 percent to 188.6 pence at 9:17 a.m. in London trading, paring the gain this year to 22 percent.
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