We will be closely investigating another mobile phone network calledVodafone against the other three companies where we will be discussingVodafone’s competitive advantage against BTCellnet’s long establishedcellular company of British Telecom and comparing the newlyestablished company, One2One and how it threatens Vodafone. We will becreating and discussing SWOT analysis for these companies andexplaining their current positioning. We will then be explaining howthese four companies positioning will change within the next ten yearsfrom the results we have in our SWOT. Mobile Phone Description and HistoryThere has been massive change in the mobile phone industry since itwas first launched in the 1980’s.Order now
In recent years, four main playershave dominated the industry, which are the companies we arediscussing. Originally, two main players, Vodafone and Cellnet startedthe mobile telephone network. Vodafone HistoryThe Racal group founded Vodafone in 1982 and was the first mobilephone provider in the UK. The groups become public in 1988 when itfloated on the New York Stock Exchange and in 1993, Vodafone and Racaldemerged to become Vodafone Group PLC. The same year, the company wasthe first to launch an all-digital service called GSM (Global Systemfor Mobile Communication) network.
Independent suppliers for mobiletelephones have classed Vodafone as the market leader for networkservice and the most technologically advanced with theirtelecommunications equipment. Growth with most of the mobile networksuppliers have been tremendous – with Vodafone, we can see that almostevery year, subscribers signing onto Vodafone has almost doubled. Within the retail section, Vodafone launched Vodafone Retail, and hasover 280 outlets nationwide outside of the specialist mobile phoneretailers. Vodafone has not only been supplying a quality networkservice to UK customers, but they have also had interests in countriessuch as Germany, South Africa, Australia and Greece. Because of this,Vodafone Group International was set up in 1993 these partnershipswith overseas companies.
In May 2000, Vodafone completed a joint venture with Bell Atlantic ofAmerica to form Verizon Wireless and are currently market leaders inthe US, providing network service to 23 million customers and havemajority coverage. Why Choose Vodafone?We have chosen this company as our main choice as Vodafone is the UK’sleading network operator with the highest number of users and is thelargest mobile Communications Company in the world. Current PositioningVodafone UK is the UK’s leading network operator with the highestnumber of users. Vodafone originally concentrated on the businessmarket but now concentrate more on the commercial market and this iswhere we can compare them to other mobile network providers such asBTCellnet, Orange and One2One.
Vodafone markets it products to a widerange of people and 71% of its users are aged between 15 and 44. Vodafone realised that most people wanted a non-contractual mobileservice and so released the UK’s first ‘Pay As You Talk’ billingstructure. This is where you purchase a telephone for a one off priceand then ‘top up’ your calling credit with vouchers which can bepurchased from many UK High Street Outlets. The latest variation ofpre-pay package if called ‘Pay as You Talk Allcalls”. Vodafone want toconcentrate more on the leisure market in recent years and bylaunching exciting new services such as Pay as you Talk and Pre-Pay,they will attract a wider-range of customers. Vodafone have realised that services such as ‘Pay as you Talk’ and’PrePay’, may not be convenient to users such as the Self Employed andusers with a heavier phone usage.
With this in mind, Vodafone claim tohave the lowest network contract tariff at just Â£9. 99. With theseservices combined, they can attract most of the leisure market as theyhave a service tariff, which suits most needs. PromotionVodafone advertise heavily on the television, local, regional andnation-wide newspapers. They appear on prime time television and tendto have advertisements that appeal to all classes of society.
Theyhave a very user-friendly website and their retail outlets are in mostmajor towns and cities. Their slogan is “The Word is Vodafone” andthey have used this for many years now. They have recently launchedcinema advertising where they will hope to gain an even greater shareof the younger market (adults aged 15 – 24). Currently they have thegreatest share in this market which is 38%, but they hope to doublethis by 2003. An example of Vodafone’s brochure appears at the back.
Target CustomersVodafone is trying to attract consumers in the AB social economicgroup with both their pre-pay and contractual services. Competitive AdvantageVodafone is the UK’s longest established company. They have a goodreputation in the cellular industry. This is a very good tool, as mostpeople decide to choose a mobile on the service a member of theirfamily or a friend is using, as Vodafone already has the most numberof users, this market lead will grow and grow. They are investingheavily in new technology and offer the latest services for example,WAP, GPRS and along with BT Cellnet, offer both analogue and digitaltariffs.
Main CompetitorsBTCELLNETBT Cellnet, formally Cellnet UK, are a company owned by BritishTelecommunications PLC. Cellnet was formally joint venture withSecuricor since 1983 and BT not own all shares in the company in 1996. They are the second network after Vodafone and therefore, areVodafones main competitor. BT Cellnet has 8 million subscribers andretails in a variety of outlets including The Link chain oftelecommunications stores where BT hold a 40% stake. Current PositioningTheir slogan “Surf the net, surf the BT Cellnet” shows the company’sinterest in the mobile internet sector, and claim to have marketleadership in this area. They were the first to offer GRPS (GeneralPacket Radio Service) which is very important for the high bandwidthspeeds needed for mobile Intranet.
Target CustomersTraditionally, BT Cellnet targeted business users and are in directcompetition with Vodafone. However, more recently, BT Cellnetre-branded their tariffs to include the leisure market where theymainly target more affluent groups of the social spectrum. Competitive AdvantageAs with Vodafone, BT Cellnet is a long serving provider of mobilecommunications and have a very strong reputation for providingquality, reliable service, especially to corporate users. They areparticularly suited to corporate users as they offer services like’dictation line’. This is where you can call a secretary from yourmobile phone and dictate a fax or letter, which will appear with yourpersonal details on. BT Cellnet were the first to offer a pre-pay andpas-as-you-go WAP mobile servicePromotionBT Cellnet advertise heavily in a wide-range of media.
They regularlyadvertise on prime-time television. They have the largest number ofretail outlets as they are have their existing BT Shops and own a 40%stake in The Link chain of branches, which gives them competitive overthe other network providers. ORANGE PLCOrange is the third largest UK mobile phone network provider and alsothe youngest, launching their first service in 1994. The company firststarted as a joint venture between British Aerospace and HutchisonWhampoa and has around six million subscribers. Current PositioningThe companies slogan “The futures bright, the futuresâ€¦ Orange”.
Please see brochure attached. As the youngest UK mobile company, they have been able to attract ayounger market by promoting “Just Talk” which is offers the mostinexpensive off-peak rate of just 5 pence per minute. In October 1999, German telecom company Mannesmann agreed a Â£22million buyout of Orange, giving the two companies a combined 20million subscribers throughout Europe. Subsequently, Mannesmann wassubject to a hostile take-over bid by Vodafone.
However, due to theMonopolies commission, this contravenes legislation and Orange willhave to be re-floated or sold off later this year. Competitive AdvantageEven though Orange are the youngest mobile communications company,they have been able to keep up with strong competition by offering tomatch any tariff which another network provider is offering. They alsohave a very strong advantage with Customer Service satisfaction with”Which Magazine” and “OFTEL” voting them the highest customer serviceand performance with their service. PromotionAs with the other mobile network suppliers, Orange advertises onprime-time television and is involved just as heavily on the price waron pre-pay and pay-as-you-go services. Orange also sponser the BAFTAawards which gives them huge promotion.
They also have a over 160outlets in the UK. Target CustomersThey are heavily promoting their student packages, and have sponsoredmany universities’ social events. A great deal of Orange’s subscribers is of a younger age. Nearly 70%of them are on a pre-pay or pay-as-you go billing structure and theysee this as a great opportunity market.
Equally, they promote theirbusiness tariffs and contractual billing agreements, but advertisementcampaigns and promotions are showing they are gearing towards theyoung, leisure market. ONE2ONEOne 2 OneCurrent PositioningOne2One has been wholly owned since October 1999 by Deutsche Telekomwho are a German telecommunications group, who bought the company forÂ£8. 4 billion. One2One was originally owned by a joint venture betweenCable and Wireless and the American group, MediaOne. One2One were thefirst UK’s first all-digital network and was launched as MercuryOne2One and then the Mercury name was dropped in 1996 and re-brandedas One2One. The company was the first to launch the all-digitalpre-pay tariff in 1997 called ‘Its Up2You’ package.
Current slogan: “Connecting People”. Competitive AdvantageThe have heavily promoted their pre-pay mobile tariffs and are theonly company to offer a standard tariff whereby there is nondistinction between off-peak and peak calls. One2One mainly dominatethe London area, but only cover 98% of the country. However, they werethe first and only company to offer limitless local land-line callsevery night after 6. 00pm and all day at the weekend.
Target CustomersOne2One are still targeting the less affluent population in the Londonarea as their service does not cover the whole country. They offersome business tariffs but they are not as competitive as Vodafone’s orBT Cellnet’s. Along with Orange, they are targeting the leisure marketand see this as the most profitable. PromotionOne2One competes heavily along with the other mobile communicationsgiants on prime time television.
They retail within their ownbranches, via the internet and through retailer like The Car PhoneWarehouse.