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Technology and Resources

Vodafone’s key technologies and resources include the telecommunications licences it holds and the related network infrastructure, which enable the Group to operate telecommunications networks in 22 controlled and jointly controlled markets around the world.


The Group is dependent on the licences it holds to operate mobile communication services. Further detail on the issue and regulation of licences can be found in Regulation. The table below summarises the significant mobile licences held by the Group’s mobile operating subsidiaries and the Group’s joint venture in Italy at 31 March 2008. In addition, the Group also has a number of licences to provide fixed line services in many countries in which it operates.

The Group holds sufficient spectrum in the majority of the Group’s mobile operating subsidiaries and joint ventures, which meet the medium term requirements for forecast voice and data growth. There is also the possibility of enhancing the medium term needs for voice and data capacity through the refarming of the Group’s existing holdings to more efficient technologies. In areas where the Group needs to increase capacity, it will participate on an opportunity basis in future auctions.

Country by region 2G licence expiry date 3G licence expiry date
Germany December 2016 December 2020
Italy February 2015 December 2021
Spain July 2023(1) April 2020
UK See note 2 December 2021
Albania June 2016 N/A – No licences issued
Greece August 2016(3) August 2021
Ireland May 2011(4) October 2022
Malta(5) September 2010 August 2020
Netherlands March 2013 December 2016
Portugal October 2021 January 2016
Australia See note 7 October 2017
Czech Republic January 2021 February 2025
Egypt January 2022 January 2022
Hungary July 2014(8) December 2019(9)
India(10) November 2014 –  
  December 2026 N/A – No licences issued
New Zealand See note 11 March 2021(11)
Romania December 2011 March 2020
Turkey April 2023 N/A – No licences issued
(1)   Date relates to 1800 MHz spectrum licence. Spain also has a separate 900 MHz spectrum licence which expires in February 2020.
(2)   Indefinite licence with a one year notice of revocation.
(3)   The licence granted in 1992 (900 MHz spectrum) will expire in September 2012. The licence granted in 2001 (900 and 1800 MHz spectrum) will expire in August 2016.
(4)   Date refers to 900 MHz licence. Ireland also has a separate 1800 MHz spectrum licence which expires in December 2015.
(5)   Malta also holds a WiMAX licence, granted in October 2005 and which expires in October 2020.
(6)   In December 2007, a consortium including Vodafone was named as the successful applicant in the auction for a mobile licence in Qatar. Subject to regulatory approvals, the licence is expected to be awarded in June 2008. Services are expected to be launched under the Vodafone brand by the end of the 2009 financial year.
(7)   Australia holds a 900 MHz spectrum licence. This is a rolling five year licence which expires in June 2012. Vodafone Australia also holds two 1800 MHz spectrum licences. One of these licences expires in June 2013 and the other in March 2015.
(8)   There is an option to extend this licence for seven years.
(9)   There is an option to extend this licence.
(10)   India is comprised of 23 service areas with a variety of expiry dates. There is an option to extend these licences by ten years.
(11)   By the end of March 2008, New Zealand owned two 900 MHz licences (each 2x7.5 MHz), which expire in November 2011 and in June 2012. These licences are expected to be renewed until November 2031. Additionally, Vodafone New Zealand owns a 1800 MHz spectrum licence (2x15 MHz) and a 2100 MHz licence (2x15 MHz), which expire in March 2021. All licences can be used for 2G and 3G at Vodafone’s discretion.