By Archibald Preuschat
Germany is a blueprint for the future of Vodafone Group PLC in other countries, Vodafone's Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said at the CeBit fair in Hannover on Monday.
After buying German cable network operator Kabel Deutschland last year for EUR10 billion ($13.87 billion), including debt, Vodafone is an integrated provider in Germany and will task Kabel Deutschland executives with managing its fixed-network activities. "Within Germany, and possibly outside Germany," Mr. Colao said, without elaborating, noting that he plans to pay a visit to Kabel Deutschland's management this week.
"Germany, within the Vodafone Group, is always one to two years ahead of units in other countries," Mr. Colao added.
Mr. Colao declined to comment on speculation about whether Vodafone will make a formal offer for Spanish cable company Ono SA.
Vodafone is pumping billions of euros into the expansion of its German network, he said, after conceding that the company had placed too much emphasis on LTE networks in the past, to the detriment of its second and third generation networks in Germany.
This is a long-term challenge, Mr. Colao said.
"I don't have any problem with being No. 2 in Germany--Deutsche Telekom is a great company," he said.
"I said the same thing in Italy 15 years ago, and today we're No. 1 there," he quipped.
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