20060318

Master Voda should gather force instead of pleasing the audience

Unsurprisingly enough, the Vodafone KK exception is over. Now, Japan Inc controls everything. AOL ? Nipponized. Yahoo! ? Japanified. By SoftBank, the country's #3 MNO's new owner. Vodafone ? Sorry lads, Masayoshi Son intends to get rid of the brand ASAP.
Arun Sarin will give the bulk of the cash (£6bn out of 6.8) to his shareholders ; more value for the short sighted. At least, Sir Christopher's successor starts preparing a much awaited coming out* : "We may no longer be mobile only. We may get into other services in the telecommunications space (...) not particularly (...) landline assets". A glimpse of a leader's grand vision or a shy follower's wishful thought ?

So the World's biggest mobile community focuses on Europe, with a few colonies around (as a MNO, M-VNO or reseller), and a big problem to solve in the US. I guess a smaller but stronger and more united Kingdom makes sense, but it would require a genuine shift in the business model to create long term value. Neither the flamboyant-arroGent way, nor the shareholder-first way - a different way.
When you think about it... what did this XXIst century commonwealth get for their £112 bn back in 1999 ? Arun Sarin plus Airtouch**... Time to prove all that was more than a touch of hot air.


* see last blog.
** allright... and some more paper to wrap Mannesmann up, not to mention a glass of Chivas Regal for J6M.



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