Definition of terms


2G networks are operated using global system for mobile (‘GSM’) technology which offer services such as voice, text messaging and basic data. In addition, all the Group’s controlled networks support general packet radio services (‘GPRS’), often referred to as 2.5G. GPRS allows mobile devices to access IP based data services such as the internet and email.


A cellular technology based on wide band CDMA delivering voice and data services.


4G or LTE technology offers even faster data transfer speeds than 3G/HSPA, increases network capacity and is able to deliver sustained customer throughputs of between 6-12 Mbps in real network conditions.

Acquisition costs

The total of connection fees, trade commissions and equipment costs relating to new customer connections.


American depositary receipts is a mechanism designed to facilitate trading in shares of non-US companies in the US stock markets. The main purpose is to create an instrument which can easily be settled through US stock market clearing systems.


American depositary shares are shares evidenced by american depositary receipts. ADSs are issued by a depositary bank and represent one or more shares of a non-US issuer held by the depositary bank. The main purpose of ADSs is to facilitate trading in shares of non-US companies in the US markets and, accordingly, ADRs which evidence ADSs are in a form suitable for holding in US clearing systems.


Annual general meeting.


Service revenue excluding fixed line revenue, fixed advertising revenue, revenue related to business managed services and revenue from certain tower sharing arrangements divided by average customers.

Capital expenditure

This measure includes the aggregate of capitalised property, plant and equipment additions and capitalised software costs.


Code-division multiple access refers to any of several protocols used in 2G and 3G communications. It allows numerous signals to occupy a single transmission channel, optimising availability of bandwidth.


Total gross customer disconnections in the period divided by the average total customers in the period.

Controlled and jointly controlled

Controlled and jointly controlled measures include 100% for the Group’s mobile operating subsidiaries and the Group’s proportionate share for joint ventures.

Customer costs

Customer costs include acquisition costs, being the total of connection fees, trade commissions and equipment costs relating to new customer connections, and retention costs, being the total of trade commissions, loyalty scheme and equipment costs relating to customer retention and upgrades, as well as expenses related to ongoing commissions.

Depreciation and other amortisation

This measure includes the profit or loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment and computer software.

Direct costs

Direct costs include interconnect costs and other direct costs of providing services.


A digital subscriber line which is a fixed line enabling data to be transmitted at theoretical peak speeds of up to 16 Mbps.


Digital terrestrial television.


Operating profit excluding share in results of associates, depreciation and amortisation, gains/losses on the disposal of fixed assets, impairment losses and other operating income and expense.


In most our networks we also provide an advanced version of GPRS called enhanced data rates for GSM evolution (‘EDGE’). This provides download speeds of over 200 kilobits per second (‘kbps’) to customers.

Emerging markets

India, Vodacom, Egypt, Turkey, Ghana, Qatar and Fiji.

Fixed broadband customer

A fixed broadband customer is defined as a physical connection or access point to a fixed line network.


Financial Reporting Council.

Free cash flow

Operating free cash flow after cash flows in relation to taxation, interest, dividends received from associates and investments and dividends paid to non-controlling shareholders in subsidiaries but before licence and spectrum payments and for the year ended 31 March 2011 other items in respect of: the UK CFC settlement, tax relating to the disposal of China Mobile Limited, the SoftBank disposal and the court deposit made in respect of the India tax case.


Financial Services Authority.


High speed downlink packet access is a wireless technology enabling theoretical network to mobile data transmission speeds of up to 43.2 Mbps.


High speed packet access or third generation (‘3G’) is a wireless technology operating wideband code division multiple access (‘W-CDMA’) technology, providing customers with voice, video telephony, multimedia messaging and high speed data services.


A downward revaluation of an asset.

‘in the cloud’

This means the customer has little or no equipment at their premises and all the equipment and capability is run from the Vodafone network instead. This removes the need for customers to make capital investment and instead they have an operating cost model with a recurring monthly fee.

Interconnect costs

A charge paid by Vodafone to other fixed line or mobile operators when a Vodafone customer calls a customer connected to a different network.


Internet protocol (‘IP’) is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another on the internet.


A local area network supplies networking capability to a group of computers in close proximity to each other.


Long-term evolution (‘LTE’) is 4G technology which offers even faster data transfer speeds than 3G/HSPA, increases network capacity and is able to deliver sustained customer throughputs of between 6-12 Mbps in real network conditions.


Mark-to-market or fair value accounting refers to accounting for the value of an asset or liability based on the current market price of the asset or liability.

Mobile broadband

Also known as mobile internet (see below).

Mobile customer

A mobile customer is defined as a subscriber identity module (‘SIM’), or in territories where SIMs do not exist, a unique mobile telephone number, which has access to the network for any purpose, including data only usage, except telemetric applications. Telemetric applications include, but are not limited to, asset and equipment tracking, mobile payment and billing functionality, e.g. vending machines and meter readings, and include voice enabled customers whose usage is limited to a central service operation, e.g. emergency response applications in vehicles.

Mobile internet

Browser based access to the internet or web applications using a mobile device, such as a smartphone, connected to a wireless network.

Mobile termination rate (‘MTR’)

A per minute charge paid by a telecommunications network operator when a customer makes a call to another mobile or fixed line network operator.


Mobile virtual network operators, companies that provide mobile phone services but do not have their own licence of spectrum or the infrastructure required to operate a network.

Net debt

Long-term borrowings, short-term borrowings and mark-to-market adjustments on financing instruments less cash and cash equivalents.

Net promoter score

Net promoter score (‘NPS’) is a customer loyalty metric used to monitor customer satisfaction.

Operating costs

Operating expenses plus customer costs other than acquisition and retention costs.

Operating expenses

Operating expenses comprise primarily of network and IT related expenditure, support costs from HR and finance and certain intercompany items.

Operating free cash flow

Cash generated from operations after cash payments for capital expenditure (excludes capital licence and spectrum payments) and cash receipts from the disposal of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment.

Organic growth

The percentage movements in organic growth are presented to reflect operating performance on a comparable basis, both in terms of merger and acquisition activity and foreign exchange rates.

Partner markets

Markets in which the Group has entered into a partner agreement with a local mobile operator enabling a range of Vodafone’s global products and services to be marketed in that operator’s territory and extending Vodafone’s reach into such markets.


Number of SIMs in a country as a percentage of the country’s population. Penetration can be in excess of 100% due to customers’ owning more than one SIM.


A petabyte is a measure of data usage. One petabyte is a million gigabytes.


Percentage points.

Pro-forma growth

Pro-forma growth is organic growth adjusted to include acquired business for the whole of both periods.

Reported growth

Reported growth is based on amounts reported in pounds sterling as determined under IFRS.


Radio access network is part of a mobile telecommunication system which conceptually sits between the mobile phone and the base station.

Retention costs

The total of trade commissions, loyalty scheme and equipment costs relating to customer retention and upgrade.


Allows our customers to make calls on other operators’ mobile networks while travelling abroad.

Service revenue

Service revenue comprises all revenue related to the provision of ongoing services including, but not limited to, monthly access charges, airtime usage, roaming, incoming and outgoing network usage by non-Vodafone customers and interconnect charges for incoming calls.

Smartphone devices

A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities including access to email and the internet.

Smartphone penetration

The number of smartphone devices divided by the number of registered SIMs, excluding data only SIMs.


The radio frequency bands and channels assigned for telecommunication services.

Tablet device

A tablet is a slate shaped, mobile or portable, casual computing device equipped with a finger operated touchscreen or stylus, for example, the Apple iPad.

Visitor revenue

Amounts received by a Vodafone operating company when customers of another operator, including those of other Vodafone companies, roam onto its network.


A Wi-Fi enabled device such as a smartphone can connect to the internet when within a range of a wireless network connected to the internet.

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