Late last year Vodafone began Project Spring, an investment programme which it intends to pump £7 billion into over the next two years to help grow the network in various ways, such as its 4G roll out and Vodafone Red.
Vodafone has now signed on Huawei as part of Project Spring. The network already has dealings with Huawei but now it’s signed a five year agreement with the infrastructure vendor for assistance with improving its operations in the UK and abroad.
Huawei will use its SingleRAN (radio access network) solutions and Active Antenna System to improve Vodafone’s operational efficiency, expand its network coverage and improve the experience for customers. Huawei’s technology will also enable Vodafone to operate 2G, 3G and 4G LTE services on a single network infrastructure.
Ultimately Vodafone expects Project Spring to improve competitive performance and deliver attractive returns, with the total cash payback expected to take around seven years.
It’s certainly a big investment but if Vodafone wants to remain competitive it’s probably necessary. Certainly the network needs to complete its 4G roll out as soon as possible, lest it get left behind, but with investments like this the network should be able to grow.
The focus isn’t just on the UK either, as Vodafone also has operations abroad and the deal with Huawei includes network assistance in Germany, Italy, Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So the network is clearly making a big global push to stay competitive and stand out from other networks. Whether it will pay off remains to be seen, but in the UK at any rate Vodafone needs all the help it can get in the face of competition from the 4G leader, EE.