Vodafone Group Plc is a British multinational telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's second-largest mobile telecommunications company measured by both subscribers and 2011 revenues (in each case behind China Mobile), and had 439 million subscribers as of December 2011. Vodafone owns and operates networks in over 30 countries and has partner networks in over 40 additional countries. Its Vodafone Global Enterprise division provides telecommunications and IT services to corporate clients in over 65 countries. Vodafone also owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile telecommunications company in the United States measured by subscribers. Vodafone has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalization of approximately £89.1 billion as of 6 July 2012, the third-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has a secondary listing on NASDAQ.
The name Vodafone comes from voice data fone, chosen by the company to "reflect the provision of voice and data services over mobile phones"
The evolution of 'Vodafone' brand starts in 1982 with the establishment of 'Racal Strategic Radio Ltd' subsidiary of Racal Electronics plc - UK's largest maker of military radio technology. The same year, Racal Strategic Radio Ltd forms a joint venture with Millicom called 'Racal Vodafone', which would later evolve into the present day Vodafone.
Evolution as a Racal Telecom brand : 1980 to 1991
Vodafone's original logo, used until the introduction of the speechmark logo in 1997 In 1980, Sir Ernest Harrison OBE, the then chairman of Racal Electronics plc agreed a deal with Lord Weinstocks of General Electric Company plc to allow Racal to access some of GEC's tactical battle field radio technology. The head of Racal's military radio division - Gerry Whent was briefed by Ernest Harrison to drive the company into commercial mobile radio. Whent visits GE’s mobile radio factory in Virginia, USA the same year to understand the commercial use of military radio technology. In 1982, Racal's newly formed Racal Strategic Radio Ltd subsidiary won one of two UK cellular telephone network licenses, with the other going to British Telecom The network, known as Racal Vodafone, was a joint venture 80% owned by Racal, with Millicom holding 15% and Hambros Technology Trust 5%. Vodafone was launched on 1 January 1985, and shortly thereafter Racal Strategic Radio was renamed Racal Telecommunications Group Limited. On 29 December 1986, Racal Electronics bought out the minority shareholders of Vodafone for GB£110 million; and Vodafone became a fully owned brand of Racal. In September 1988, the company was again renamed Racal Telecom. On 26 October 1988, Racal Telecom, majority held by Rasal Electronics; went public on the London Stock Exchange with 20% of its stock floated. The successful flotation led to a situation where the Racal's stake in Racal Telecom was valued more than the whole of Racal Electronics. Under stock market pressure to realise full value for shareholders of Racal, Harrison decides in 1991 to demerge Racal Telecom. Vodafone Group, then Vodafone Airtouch plc : 1991 to 2000
On 16 September 1991, Racal Telecom was demerged from Racal Electronics as Vodafone Group, with Gerry Whent as its CEO. In July 1996, Vodafone acquired the two thirds of Talkland it did not already own for £30.6 million. On 19 November 1996, in a defensive move, Vodafone purchased Peoples Phone for £77 million, a 181 store chain whose customers were overwhelmingly using Vodafone's network. In a similar move the company acquired the 80% of Astec Communications that it did not own, a service provider with 21 stores. In January 1997, Gerald Whent retired and Christopher Gent took over as the CEO. The same year, Vodafone introduced its Speechmark logo, composed of a quotation mark in a...