Vodafone to invest $7 billion in network improvements

Vodafone to invest $7 billion in network improvements

UK mobile operator Vodafone will spend $7 billion on upgrading its networks, Reuters reports.

Vodafone, which sold its US arm to Verizon Communications for $130 billion in September this year, said it will spend $7 billion on network improvements by March 2016, in a bid to compete more aggressively with its rivals.

The company will reportedly invest $3 billion in enhancing the speeds of its European networks, and an estimated $1.5 billion in extending its coverage across emerging markets.

The world’s second-largest operator posted weak first half and third quarter financial results and the investment forms part of its Project Spring programme, designed to shift Vodafone’s financial pressures.

In the first half, Vodafone’s core earnings were down 4.1% to £6.6 billion, but in a statement today the company said that its performance in the period was in line with expectations.

“We are therefore on target to deliver adjusted operating profit of around £5 billion and free cash flow in the £4.5-5 billion range,” the statement read.

Vittorio Colao, CEO at Vodafone, expects revenues to improve moving into 2014.

"Whilst trading conditions in Europe remain very tough at present, we are encouraged by the forecast return to economic growth over the next two years," Colao said.

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