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Vodafone is the largest cellco in the world by revenue but China Mobile has more customers. It was formed when UK company Racal won a cellular license and was later spun out. Since then it has grown through a series of bold mergers to the giant it is today with major operations in Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy and India. It has minority positions in Verizon Wireless in the US and in SFR in France, in the process of being sold to Vivendi. In all, taking in subsidiaries and joint ventures it has 341 million cellular subscribers in 30 countries and partner networks, with which it has close ties, over a further 40. Vodafone major shareholders have guided its strategy away from saturated such as Japan (which it sold to Softbank) and pushed Vodafone to attack emerging markets – a strategy that has paid off handsomely with Vodafone capturing control of Essar in India and Telsim in Turkey. Vodafone has begun buying fixed line ISPs to venture into broadband, IPTV and quad play, particularly in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Vodafone confirms interest in Kabel Deutschland

13 June, 2013

Has made approach to Germany's lead cableco as it tries to build quad play services, but may have to raise its price

Vodafone set for M&A spree after Verizon deal?

20 May, 2013

While shareholders want the proceeds of a deal in their pockets, analysts urge cellco to invest in growth markets

Vodafone expands mobile money in India

19 April, 2013

M-Pesa services expands in partnership with local bank, taking on Bharti Airtel in Africa and India

Vodafone and China Mobile unite for Myanmar bid

5 April, 2013

World's two leading cellcos to submit joint application for one of two national mobile licences in Asian country

Europe's crisis continues to weigh on Vodafone

7 February, 2013

Turkey, India and Verizon Wireless were the star performers in fiscal Q312, while Italy, Spain and Australia flagged badly

Vodafone unifies enterprise and M2M activities

3 December, 2012

Creates single Group Enterprise structure, which also incorporates Cable & Wireless Worldwide, to increase non-consumer focus

Vodafone adds loans to M-Pesa mobile money service

27 November, 2012

Operator's Kenyan venture Safaricom expands successful payments platform for the unbanked to include microloans and savings

Vodafone falls into red on south Europe writedowns

13 November, 2012

Wipes £5.9bn off value of Spanish and Italian units, but sees growth in emerging markets, data and M2M services

Spanish carriers rethink dumping subsidies

8 November, 2012

Telefonica claims it will increase profit and loyalty over time, but Vodafone reintroduces subsidies on all models

Vodafone poised for global payments with Gemalto

30 October, 2012

Signs five-year deal to secure NFC mobile transactions, as it prepares to create a platform spanning all its markets