Vodafone is the largest wireless company in the United Kingdom. The company became the largest wireless company after merging with Mannesmann AG. Apart from being the largest mobile phone in the United Kingdom, it is also considered as the leading mobile company worldwide in the market share as well as in the production of cellular phones. Vodafone started in 1980s as a joint enterprise between Racal Electronics Ltd that was a modest successful electronic firm based in the United Kingdom and the U.S. communication firm.
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In 1985, Vodafone was given a license for producing mobile phones in the United Kingdom. The company performed extemporary well as a result of the great adoption of mobile telecommunication within the United Kingdom as well as in other parts of the world. Vodafone was the second company in the United Kingdom engaged in the production and sale of cellular networks in unregulated market.
The company was only competing with Cellnet Company in this new industry until the 1990s. The company created most of its technology as well as dominated in the sale of cellular networks in the 1980s. Its duopoly in this new venture enabled the company to enjoy most of the profits generated from the sale of wireless phones as it continued to expand its operations within as well as outside the United Kingdom.
In 1991, Racal Company which was a partner of the joint venture separated from the merger and the mother company adopted the name Vodafone since then. Despite the separation, Vodafone remained the leading company in the sale of mobile phones in the United Kingdom. The launching of Mercury’s Personal Communications Network in the 1990s resulted in a stiff competition in the cellular networks within the United Kingdom.
The new company competed on its rivals on prices. Though Cellnet and Vodafone Companies were well established in the cellular market, they faced a stiff competition from Mercury’s Personal Communications Network that focused its advertisements on lower costs. The company offered lower costs for its customers as well as free-off peak calls to its clients. This forced Vodafone to lower its costs and mainly for business clients who used their phones more often.
In 1994, Vodafone had the largest cellular network with over one million subscribers. The company had also a high international profile that enabled it potentially powerful of extending its local as well as international market. By 1997, Vodafone had greatly expanded its operations and acquired various companies, such as Talkland, Vodacom, VODAC, Astec, Vodacall, as well as People’s Phone. Vodafone merged with Mannesmann AG in February 2000.
Vodafone shareholders owned 50.5 percent of the new company while Mannesmann AG shareholders controlled 49.5% of the company (Vodafone Group PLC. 2001). The merger enabled Vodafone to become the leading telecommunication company with over 42 million mobile subscribers operating in over 25 countries (Vodafone Group, 2012).
Vodafone provides various services and products for personal as well as business use. Vodafone offers integrated communications that support both fixed as well as mobile communications for both data and voice as a single simple solution. In addition, the company provides mobile solutions, such as mobile e-mails that are highly effective in ensuring efficiency of communications.
It also provides productivity services, such as video conferencing, as well as instant messaging and customized mobile application meant for business. Finally, Vodafone supports roaming option as well as machine to machine solutions, such as M2M solutions that help in monitoring of vehicles via the support of real-time secure payments. Therefore, the target audience of Vodafone ranges from the young to the oldest as the company has designed its products and services to reflect the needs of businesses, families and friends as well as children.
Vodafone has developed and launched various business solutions, such as instant messages as well as mobile e-mails that enhance effective communications that is paramount for efficiency and effective business transactions. These facilities are as highly employed as main forms of communications, especially in service industries, such as outsourcing. They are highly adopted because they are regarded as economical to use as well as user friendly and reliable.
Moreover, Vodafone has developed and launched software that supports online marketing as well as e-commerce. It is estimated that over 4 billion people use mobile phone. Thus, Vodafone has realized the importance of designing their products and services to ensure they cater for the use of mobile phones in marketing as well as in the e-commerce. The internet has greatly transformed communication, commerce as well as entertainment and communication distribution.
For example, nowadays, people are paying and accessing newspapers over the internet; similarly, companies are designing and launching websites for marketing as well as selling their products and services. Thus, Vodafone has realized the great adoption of the internet in business and tailored their products accordingly. The Vodafone services, such as instant messaging as well as mobile e-mails, have greatly enhanced business communications, and mainly, as customers inquire about certain products as well as services they aspire to buy online.
Most of e-commerce communications have greatly relied on instant messaging communications. In addition, Vodafone has designed their mobile e-mails in a manner to support sending of e-mails to many people which is very effective in marketing and promotion of the new products and services. E-commerce employs electronic payments for the payment of services as well as products purchased.
Despite the great concerns associated with electronic payments, Vodafone has succeeded in developing very effective mobile phone payments, such as MPESA, efficiently used in countries like Kenya, to make electronic payments available, especially to those people who do not have personal bank accounts. The Vodafone mobile payment facilities provided have been greatly adopted in the payment of business transactions as a result of their efficiency as well as security associated with them.
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The great adoption of smartphones among the younger generation has enhanced Vodafone to develop their products in such a manner to attract the youths to adopt their facilities. The smartphones developed by Vodafone are designed to support GPS, Wi-Fi as well as Internet in order to keep them updated on everything that is happening.
In addition, the ability of these mobile phones to support Internet connectivity is important as it helps the youths connect with their friends as well as business colleagues and family members via the social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Vodafone offers broadband connectivity to its mobile users. It is estimated that about 5 million people in 12 nations use Vodafone broadband.
The opportunity of Vodafone to provide broadband that is compatible in mobile phones enables the young people to highly embrace it in order to share files, such as photos and music. In addition, it helps the young people be able to download music online using their mobile phone for listening to as well as sending to their friends. Vodafone, in addition, offers TV services to its customers.
Vodafone broadband delivers more than TV 100 channels. The TV is accompanied with video-on-demand as well as a high-definition set-top-box plus a TV recorder that one is able to control from one’s mobile phone. These features have made Vodafone highly embraced by the young people who are very receptive of new technologies. Vodafone has a variety of mobile phones it has developed depending on the needs of various people.
For example, Vodafone Smart Tab is an example a Vodafone mobile phone that is slim and stylish and designed mainly for the young people. It has a dual-core processor of 1.2 GHz and operates with the Android operating system. Vodafone has also designed its products to be highly appealing to children.
The company has ensured that the mobile phones it produces are very attractive like the aforementioned Vodafone Smart Tab as well as making sure they have interesting games that are user-friendly, especially to the children.
In order for Vodafone not to conflict with the social norms as well as religious customs of the United Arab Emirates, Vodafone ensures that it filters the content that the broadband supports. For example, Vodafone does not support those sites that transmit pornography or anything that is not considered as moral in the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, the Vodafone broadband that is offered in the United Arab Emirates does not allow those TVs as well as Vodafone Mobile phones able to access pornographic contents. This has been very important in ensuring that Vodafone products as well as services embraced in the United Arab Emirates conform to the social norms and religious values of the resident of the country.
This has been of great importance in ensuring high adoption of Vodafone within the United Arab Emirate despite the presence of other competing telecommunication firms. For example, the Vodafone broadband has been greatly adopted by many companies as well as in many restaurants. The use of Vodafone broadband in the United Arab Emirates is common.
This country is major a tourist destination, and many of the people who visit the region are rich business people or tourists who visit the area for recreation purposes. These people mainly use Vodafone products as well as services in their communications and for entertainment. Those business people who visit the area for business purposes use the Vodafone broadband to visit the websites of the companies they aspire to buy from.
Because of the great adoption of the Internet in the United Arab Emirates, almost all companies in the region have designed and launched their websites to be used in marketing as well as sale of products and services via e-commerce. These companies mainly depend on international clients as their main clients. Therefore, many of these companies have adopted Vodafone broadband because of its efficiency and effectiveness in terms of speed, reliability as well as security purposes.
The use of Vodafone broadband enables the companies to ensure that their websites are always on line in order to facilitate their customers to access them as they make their inquiries about the products or services they anticipate to buy. On the other hand, the presence of Vodafone broadband in the Unite Arab Emirates makes it possible for those visitors who tour the region for business as well as recreation purposes to use their mobiles phones to access websites of the companies or restaurants they aspire to visit in their mission.
Vodafone broadband enables these customers to make their reservations in advance of the restaurants where they are going to visit during their tour. As a result of the reliability and security elements associated with Vodafone broadband as well as its electronic payment methods, the customers are able to pay for their reservations electronically without any worry that their master cards’ codes may be hacked.
In addition, the availability of the Vodafone broadband in the region makes it possible for the visitors to make a search for possible business contacts as well as restaurants they can use during their visit in the United Arab Emirate. The presence of Vodafone broadband in the United Arab Emirate makes it possible for the visitors as well as local companies to stay connected with over 200 destinations worldwide.
Therefore, roaming allows the visitors of the region to stay connected to their people back at home. In addition, they can easily be able to track their business or family status back at home by calling the concerned individuals using their mobile phones or through instant messaging as well as mobile e-mails that are supported by broadband. In addition, the presence of the broadband enables the business visitors to request their friends back at home to send them some music that they long to listen to which is only available from their home.
Therefore, the friends can save the songs in their mobile phones and send it to their friends in the United Arab Emirates. With their Vodafone mobile phones, such as Vodafone Smart Tabs, that are very powerful coupled with the presence of Vodafone broadband in the United Arab Emirates, they are in a position to easily download the music sent and listen to it using their phones or any other convenient device (Laurence, 2012).
The Vodafone Issar which is the Indian largest telecom operator with over 91 mobile subscribers placed an advert in the United Arab Emirates to promote the use of their services in the region. The advert entailed a figure with a symbol of a human being making a call. The human figure is dressed in a manner to reflect the dressing code that is recommended in the region.
The use of the dressing code that is in line with the customs as well as religion of resident of the United Arab Emirate is a captivating factor that can greatly result in the adoption of the Vodafone broadband in the region. This is because the advertisement is designed in a manner to promote and focus on not only the services of the Vodafone but at the same time the culture of the United Arab Emirates by using a human figure dressed in like a Muslim. Communication is very essential in business.
Use of effective communication skills enables the receiver to get the intended message more conveniently and give an appropriate feedback. In a cross-cultural environment, it is vital to note that different cultures respond different to the same stimuli depending on one’s background. Therefore, one should make sure that he/she understands the background of targeted people in order to identify the best approach to use to achieve the desired objective.
In this advertisement, Vodafone had realized the importance of Muslim religion as well as their culture, particularly, regarding their unique dressing code. Therefore, Vodafone advertisement team opted to use this factor positively by associating themselves with the Muslims dressing code in order to win more people to use their services.
The use of the human figure dressed like a Muslim woman showed that Vodafone was identifying itself with Muslim culture which was likely to attract more people in the United Arab Emirates to adopt their services as well as products.
In an attempt to find out the proliferation of Vodafone in UAE as well as the perception of Vodafone broadband, I asked a young man who I saw using his mobile phone to download some music into a conversation. The person was a Muslim business man who had lived in the United Arab Emirates for 10 years. He relocated from Bangladesh to come and do business in the country.
When I asked him the broadband he preferred using, when surfing the internet, he told me that since he had learned about the Vodafone broadband, he always made sure to use it in all his surfing. When I asked him whether he had used any other broadband, he confirmed that before starting using Vodafone broadband, he had used other broadband, but he had been often disappointed because of their occasional downtime. However, Vodafone broadband is very stable and rarely experiences downtown.
When I asked him which broadband his friend used, he confirmed that all his friends and even many of his business colleagues used Vodafone broadband. From this conversation, I was able to learn that Vodafone broadband was able to greatly penetrate the United Arab market. One of the reasons cited for its great penetration and adoption is its good performance as well as the effectiveness of the marketing team to manage the cross-cultural barriers present in the region (Kotler, 2005).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory argues that people are motivated by the pursuit to satisfy needs that are grouped into five categories and occur in varied hierarchy. Maslow (1986) argued that lower needs have to be met before pursuing the satisfaction of those of higher order. Physiological needs are the basic needs and include hunger and thirst. Safety needs entail physical safety as well as job security.
Social needs entail social acceptance, friendship, love and support, while the egotistic needs comprise an individual’s desire for respect. Self-actualization occurs at the apex of the hierarchy and indicates the aspiration towards full development of one’s potential that is never fully attained. According to Maslow, people always pursue what they have not yet achieved, and once they get it, it stops being a motivation for action (Pinder1998)
The Vodafone broadband can be regarded as a social need. This is because broadband is mainly used for establishing social relationships through enhancing communications to establish tight family ties as well as close friendships.
People make decision as a result of pear influence or depending on the information that one has regarding a particular matter. There is a lot of information about Vodafone broadband, and thus, customers should consider investing their time and research about Vodafone broadband before deciding to use it, instead of making a decision to adopt it out of pear influence (Hull, 1943).
Vodafone has succeeded in its venture, particularly in the provision of effective and efficient broadband. It has been successful in penetrating into the United Arab Emirates’ market as a result of the work of its strategic marketing team ensuring appropriate management of cross-cultural barriers in its branding process.
Hull, C. (1943). Principles of Behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Kotler, P. (2005). Principles of Marketing. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Laurence, G. (2012). The Internet Economy in United Kingdom. Web.
Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Prentice Hall.
Pinder, C. (1998). Work Motivation in Organizational Behavior. New York: Prentice-Hall, Vodafone Group PLC. (2001). Web.
Vodafone Group. (2012). What we Do. Web.