Hutchison ties up with Vodafone for '3' boost
The mobile arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong expects to boost the scope of its services to corporate customers under a partnership with Britain's Vodafone, the world's largest wireless network operator in terms of revenue.
The two companies said yesterday that their tie-up was part of a wider pact forged last year with the Conexus Mobile Alliance, an influential regional trade group that counts Hutchison Telecom, Far EasTone in Taiwan, Japan's NTT DoCoMo and StarHub in Singapore among its members.
Amy Lung Pui-ying, the chief operating officer at Hutchison Telecom's '3' mobile business, said: 'Our collaboration with Vodafone will provide us with a hefty boost in terms of broadening our customer base and growing our share of the corporate market.'
Lung said that the carrier's co-operation with Vodafone Global Enterprise, the business within Vodafone that manages the communications needs of multinational companies, would provide customers with enhanced 3G network coverage, harmonised roaming rates across multiple countries and greater cost efficiencies.
Several new destinations, for example, have been added to Hutchison Telecom's flat-rate data roaming daily pass offer. 'Hutchison Telecom now covers 52 destinations and 65 networks,' Lung said.
Under the Conexus Mobile Alliance agreement, Hutchison Telecom is able to sell to its multinational customers a range of managed communications services provided by Vodafone Global Enterprise.
Stevan Hoyle, the president of Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa operations at Vodafone Global Enterprise, said: 'What this means for Hong Kong-based enterprises is that we will provide a single contract across the region. We'll provide Hong Kong-based customers with consistency, simplicity and predictability.'
Lisa Soh, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, said: 'Roaming [revenue] for Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong could see some uplift, but we still expect data to be the more important driver this year.'
Soh estimated that roaming, as a proportion of Hutchison Telecom's '3' mobile business, represented roughly a quarter of the Hong Kong-listed company's annual revenue. It is forecast to record HK$14.6 billion in revenue this year, up from an estimated HK$12.9 billion last year.