VHA still fighting to regain consumer trust

Continued infrastructure investment critical

A "combination of events" led to loss of consumer trust in the Vodafone brand, and regaining that trust is Vodafone Hutchison Australia's "key focus", Conning Fok Kin Ning, the chairman of part VHA owner Hutchison Australia, told his company's AGM today.

Vodafone has faced the threat of a class action because of poor network performance, and lost 443,000 customers in 2012.

Continuing investment in VHA's infrastructure and deploying 4G services will be critical for the telco, the Hutchison chairman said. Investing in the telco's infrastructure has helped boost download speeds to 8Mbps across 60 per cent of the network and reduced dropped call by a third in metropolitan areas.

In 2012, VHA rolled out more than 1500 new 3G sites, as well as upgrading the existing network and preparing sites for its 4G rollout.

VHA's ills impacted on Hutchison's results, Fok said. Hutchison's share of VHA's net loss in 2012 was $408.8 million, compared to $175.4 in 2011. Fok said he expects continuing losses in 2013, but the strategy to turn VHA around "remains on track to return VHA to growth and profitability in the future".

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