Vodafone Romania boosts 4G speeds, launches new mobile payment service

Newsroom 31/03/2014 | 16:25

Vodafone Romania telecom operator announced new investments into growing the coverage and speed of its 4G network in 2014 from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps at national level, once the company gets into the possession of the license it won during the 2012 tender.

The operator announced that in a few days it will raise the 4G speed from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps.

Vodafone also announced that it is already testing the next speed limit of 300 Mbps in its network, which it will make available during the year.

In the new fiscal year April 2014- March 2015, Vodafone will grow the number of 4G sites to cover 70 percent of the urban population until March 2015. Also, before March 2016, the entire urban population will have access to 4G coverage from Vodafone Romania.

“Starting August 2013, we posted a strong growth in the 4G traffic in our network. Also, the number of 4G compatible terminals and the number of customers who use the 4G network simultaneously have significantly grown over the past 6 months. (…) We have already started to test the 300 Mbps speed in our network and this will be available to our clients this year,” said Giovanni Chiarelli, interim CEO Vodafone Romania and CTO Vodafone Romania.

At the start of this year, Vodafone Romania announced additional investments of EUR 55 million into its network and stores for the next two years, allocated via the Spring global program.

The company also launched a new service on the market, M-Pesa, which allows customers to make and receive payments with the help of the mobile phone without the need of a bank account.

M-Pesa is available in Vodafone’s 4G, 3G and 2G network for any postpay or prepay customer, irrespective of the model of phone used.

“With a 130 percent penetration, the mobile phone is the perfect instrument to make payments, especially in the case of Romanians who do not have yet a bank account- who represent approximately 40 percent of the country’s population. The service is also conceived for our clients who have a bank account and are looking for the comfort in use offered by the mobile phone. By launching M-Pesa, Vodafone Romania becomes the first European operation in the Vodafone group which owns an electronic license model,” said Andrea Rossini, chief commercial officer, consumer business unit, Vodafone Romania.

M-Pesa allows Vodafone customers to send and receive money, charge their Vodafone prepay card, pay the bills, buy goods and services from the M-Pesa partner stores.

The service can be activated by any Vodafone customer aged over 14 at any M-Pesa affiliated store.

To benefit from the new service, customers must open an M-Pesa account in an affiliated store by presenting their identity card. To use the service, customers must first dial *789#.

M-Pesa is activated free of charge and there are no monthly costs. Only cash deposits and withdrawals are charged, and the taxes are fixed, depending on the sum.

Depending on the sum, customers pay between RON 1 and 3, for sending money to another registered M-Pesa user.

For withdrawals, clients pay a fixed fee between RON 2.5 and RON 30 per transaction, depending on the sum.

The M-Pesa service can be activated in approximately 300 Vodafone and partner stores, as well as in the PayZone, RoBest, and Agroland networks.

Over the next year, the service will be expanded to over 2,000 stores.

The complete list of M-Pesa locations is available and updated at www.m-pesa.ro and at the number *789

Otilia Haraga



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