Is Vodafone's Japanese Adventure Coming To An End?

Vodafone Japan has been little more than a bad joke over the last several years, but Vodafone’s investors haven’t been laughing as the unit’s poor performance has weighed on the company. It comes as little surprise, then, that Vodafone says it’s in talks to sell the unit. What is a little bit surprising is that the talks are with Softbank, which was one of three companies awarded spectrum so they could start offering mobile service next year. It had been expected that the companies would build their own network, probably using technologies other than CDMA2000 or WCDMA, that promise better performance and lower costs. Buying Vodafone would certainly accelerate its entrance into the mobile market, and would signal that the company thinks there aren’t any fundamental problems with Vodafone Japan that it couldn’t fix, something its track record might bear out. Such a move might also reinforce the speculation that Vodafone’s troubles have been caused by little more than poor leadership making poor decisions.


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