Vodafone, e& team on VoLTE technology

Vodafone, e& team on VoLTE technology

This announcement builds on a previous agreement that Vodafone and e& unveiled in October last year

U.K. telecom group Vodafone and UAE-based operator e& have joined forces to provide other operators with fully managed voice solutions to support their international voice traffic requirements, the former said in a release.

Vodafone also said that the partnership also aims to meet the growing demand for voice over 4G/5G (VoLTE) services. According to industry body the GSMA, VoLTE adoption is forecast to increase to over 70% of global mobile connections by 2030.

This announcement builds on a previous agreement that Vodafone and e& unveiled in October last year, when the partners announced plans to jointly provide services to businesses and public sector organizations in support of their digital transformation plans.

Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone procurement and connectivity, said: “Managing cross-border voice is increasingly complex due to new regulations, providing protection against international scams, and the need to migrate to 5G services.  Operators are seeking trusted partners to navigate these changes, while growing their businesses. Vodafone’s strategic partnership with e& offers them a single point of contact and a dependable service globally during this transition to support them in managing changing business complexities.”

“This collaboration between Vodafone and e& sets a new industry benchmark, extending beyond predictable cost and improved security. It focuses on empowering operators to confidently adapt to the evolving voice landscape. Working together, e& and Vodafone grant operators’ easy access to our combined skills and worldwide presence, enabling them to provide cutting-edge voice service,” said Nabil Baccouche, group chief carrier and wholesale officer at e&.

Vodafone also highlighted that this collaboration with the Arab carrier offers operators enhanced fraud protection, based on industry-leading processes and advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) functionalities.

The U.K. government recently said that the stake in local carrier Vodafone held by Emirates Telecoms, also known as e&, poses a national security risk to the country.

The Cabinet Office recently issued a notice warning that the 14.6% stake held by e& in Vodafone by represents a security concern for the authorities due to the strategic role of Vodafone in the U.K.’s telecommunications market and given the telco’s role in contributing to the U.K.’s cybersecurity and as a supplier to government departments.

The government ordered Vodafone to organize a national security committee with the aim of overseeing and monitoring any sensitive work it carries out which could have an impact on national security. The U.K. government highlighted that this action was necessary and proportionate with the aim of mitigating the risk to national security.

Last year, e&, which is 60% owned by the UAE government, increased its ownership in Vodafone to 14.6%. The UAE telco had initially invested £3 billion ($3.82 billion) in Vodafone in 2022. Under the terms of a strategic partnership, e& can increase its stake in the U.K. carrier to just under 25%.

As part of the deal, the CEO of e& was given a seat on Vodafone’s board subject to regulatory approvals, with the Arab telco also given the opportunity to appoint an independent non-executive director if its stake in Vodafone increases above 20%.

The Cabinet Office also noted the partnership would enable e& to “materially influence policy at Vodafone”. Oliver Dowden, secretary of state at the Cabinet Office, has made several orders, including requirements that the U.K. government be notified if any element of the relationship changes.

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