Tuesday, 13 September 2016 12:47

Vodafone picks up 130,000 new customers with Lebara buy Featured


Vodafone is acquiring the Australian mobile business of Lebara, including 130,000 of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator’s customers.

Lebara Mobile, a Vodafone MVNO since 2009, has been bought for an undisclosed sum, and Vodafone Hutchinson (VHA) chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd says the company will take over Lebara’s mobile base, with the rights to use the Lebara brand in Australia.

“Lebara Mobile has built up a strong brand presence and loyal customer base in Australia, and we see opportunities to grow the business further,” Lloyd says.

“Given VHA’s long relationship with Mobile, which has been a Vodafone Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) since 2009, we expect a seamless transition to the new arrangement.”

Vodafone says it will be business as usual with the takeover.

“Lebara Mobile customers are already enjoying the Vodafone 4G network, so nothing will change for customers in terms of their experience.

“It will also be business as usual for all of Lebara Mobile’s employees, and customer service agents, who will continue to provide care to Lebara Mobile customers via existing service channels.”

Lloyd says Lebara Mobile has built up a strong brand presence and loyal customer base in Australia, and Vodafone sees opportunities to grow the business further.

Under the deal, Vodafone will support Lebara with its own resources and Lloyd says with the corporate resources of VHA behind it, it expects the Lebara brand to become an even stronger force in the Australian mobile market.

“Lebara Mobile has established a market-leading niche, enabling migrant communities to stay connected with their loved ones abroad, particularly through very competitive and award-winning international mobile calling,” Lloyd said.

“At VHA, we are supporters of customer choice, and we look forward to championing the Lebara Mobile brand to offer choice and value to Australia’s strong and growing migrant communities.”

Lebara Group chairman and chief executive Yoganathan Ratheesan said Lebara Mobile Australia customers have benefitted from the long-term relationship with VHA for many years and the company is working with VHA to ensure a seamless transition.

Lebara Mobile products will continue to be sold through existing retail partners including Coles, Woolworths and convenience store outlets around Australia.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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