Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Vodafone, Losing Connectivity in Japan

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Vodafone: Losing Connectivity in Japan

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: M.V. Patil, Bharathi S. Gopal

Industry: Telecommunications


Case Code: TRT0061B

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Vodafone Group Plc is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company with a total market capitalization of approximately UK £72 billion in 2006. Vodafone entered the Japanese market in 1999 through the acquisition of J-Phone and went on become the second largest wireless telecom company in Japan. But eventually it could not retain the position in the Japanese market. It was felt that Vodafone lagged behind its competitors in introducing new technology or services in the Japanese market. By 2005, Vodafone in Japan had lost a substantial number of customers to its competitors, who were offering superior handset features and services. Vodafone seemed at a loss to gain a foothold in the Japanese market and finally, in 2005, it sold its Japanese mobile business Softbank.

Industry experts attempted to analyse the reasons for Vodafone’s exit from Japan. In this context analysts debated that Vodafone failed to understand the competition and the Japanese market and hence made an exit which could have been avoided. It was felt that Vodafone would have to re-evaluate its global strategy.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand Vodafone’s global strategy
  • To gain an insight into the competitive environment of the Japanese telecom market
  • To analyse the reasons for Vodafone’s exit from Japan
  • To consider the strategies that Vodafone should have adopted to remain in the market.

Keywords : Vodafone; Japan Telecom Company; Softbank; Racal Telecom Limited; DoCoMo; Sarin; KDDI; Ripplewood Holdings; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Robin Hearn; Global Strategy; Ovum; ‘bigger is better’ strategy; traditional market; Telecom; Christopher Gent


  • About Vodafone
  • Vodafone's Global Strategy
  • Vodafone in Japan

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