Verizon Wireless is the largest carrier in the United States, but it’s going to face increased competition of T-Mobile’s plans to acquire MetroPCS and SoftBank’s $20 billion investment in Sprint are approved. The Financial Times on Friday said that Vodafone needs to consider whether or not it’s going to continue to invest in the Verizon Wireless joint venture. Verizon owns 55 percent of the wireless carrier while Vodafone has the other 45 percent of the venture.
“Verizon Wireless might be the sector leader in the U.S., but it will now have to sweat to stay in front,” the Financial Times warned on Friday. Despite Verizon Wireless’ success, one analyst said Vodafone may want to consider taking its money elsewhere. An analyst with Bernstein, Robin Bienenstock, said Vodafone faces “an urgent need for major strategic change in Europe,” and that the company should consider selling off its ownership in the joint venture to focus on its own success in Europe.
It’s still unclear what Vodafone’s leadership will decide or how much the deal could be worth to anyone interested in obtaining Vodafone’s share. It is clear, however, that the wireless carrier wars are heating up in the United States, especially as each carrier pushes to expand (and deploy) 4G LTE networks. It would certainly seem a bit odd, to us anyway, if Vodafone decided to back out of a joint venture that continues to be profitable.
[via Financial Times]