8/6/2010 10:18:00 AM
Vodafone guns for consumers
Vodafone is launching an onslaught in the indirect consumer channel after appointing Shebang as consumer distributor.
The network, which has been ramping up its indirect consumer presence since going back into Carphone Warehouse this time last year, launched a rebrand in September 2009.
Vodafone maintains a strong corporate share, but has struggled in the consumer space in the face of increasing competition from brands such as Orange and O2.
Shebang can now do Vodafone consumer contract connections with any business that uses its security software, Sellfone SpeedPoint EPOS.
This includes supermarket giant Asda, which the distributor recently inked a deal with for its upcoming ‘Phone Shops’ launch.
Some industry insiders hailed Vodafone’s latest move as a reaction to the T-Mobile and Orange joint venture. One retail source said: ‘Everyone is reacting to the [Orange and T-Mobile] joint venture and Vodafone will be in third position if it doesn’t do something.
‘The fact that the two are merging means that companies that were once strongly aligned to them now have the opportunity and resources for another network. Vodafone will do well to capitalise on that.’
Last month, Welsh independent retailer Get Connected started selling Vodafone in its stores for the first time, with connections through Shebang.
Vodafone is also available in Fonehouse, and online retailer Buymobilephones.net recently started selling the network for the first time.
Shebang’s retail arm Go Mobile started selling Vodafone in June as a result of the deal.
Shebang general manager Julian Burton said: ‘Shebang has the capability to distribute Vodafone consumer contracts to our Sellfone base.’
In May this year, Vodafone held a conference for the indirect consumer channel, which was attended by Vodafone CEO Guy Laurence and head of channel partners Nick Birtwistle.
Partners were informed that the indirect channel had been re-organised and restructured, with indirect partners raised to the same level as the direct channel.