Technology and resources
Cost reduction and innovation
While evolving the Group’s infrastructure, it is also important that the Group continues to have a tight control over its cost base. Vodafone has been actively driving a variety of initiatives which enable it to manage its network investments.
Significant effort has been placed in reducing the costs of deploying mobile network infrastructure. During the 2009 financial year, Vodafone announced a number of significant European agreements, including those in Germany, Spain, Ireland and the UK, along with the formation of a joint venture in India, Indus Towers, for the purposes of network sharing with other operators. The Group is now conducting network sharing in all but one of its controlled markets.
Power and energy savings
Vodafone has been actively pursuing a number of initiatives to address energy costs and deliver against its corporate responsibility (‘CR’) commitment to reduce carbon emissions. During the 2009 financial year, there has been wide scale adoption of free cooling systems across the Group’s networks, which remove the need to air condition base station equipment. In addition, the Group is pursuing the introduction of sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Quality of service for data applications
The Group has been driving the development of innovative techniques in 3G, which enable it to carefully manage the assignment of capacity in its networks. With increasing bandwidth demands and a data dominated traffic mix, driven by faster HSDPA and fixed broadband, the ability to optimise the allocation of capacity according to the services and applications being used will be essential in managing costs.
During the 2009 financial year, the Group has been testing femtocells across a number of markets. Femtocells are based on technology which consists of a powered booster box connected to a small antenna that amplifies existing 3G signals from the wide area network to offer enhanced reception over a range of up to nine metres.