Vodafone and Vodacom: Exploring the Relationship and Key Differences for Better Understanding

If you are anything like many other people, you will have wondered what the difference is between the similar-soibdibg Vodafone and Vodacom. It can be a little confusing. As a matter of fact, I won’t be surprised if some people just assume that they are the same entity. However, Vodafone and Vodacom are separate entities, though related.


What is the difference between Vodafone and Vodacom?

Vodafone is a British mobile network operator that was launched in 1985 and with operations not only in the UK but also in multiple countries in all regions around the world. Vodafone has mobile networks in 32 European countries, as well as in India (in Asia). In addition, it provides business services in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia.

Countries where Vodafone has mobile networks

Vodafone Group has wireless mobile networks in a total of 21 countries, including the UK, Albania, Australia, Czech, Germany, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Qatar, and Ukraine.

Vodacom, on the other hand, is a South African mobile operator that was founded in 1994. It has operations in a number of other countries on the African continent. Vodacom is currently active in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Tanzania, Congo, Zambia, among others.

Vodafone and Vodacom
What is the relationship between Vodafone and Vodacom?

Countries where Vodacom has operations

Vodacom is exclusively an African operation. It has mobile networks in 6 countries, namely South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Kenya. It also provides business services (not mobile networks) in 48 African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire.

The relationship between Vodafone and Vodacom

The connection between the two is that Vodafone is a majority shareholder in Vodacom. While the South African government has a 17% share in Vodacom, Vodafone has a 60.5% share in the company. The name Vodacom was coined from an amalgamation of Vodafone and Telkom (the South African government-owned telecom operator).

In a nutshell, Vodafone is British and Vodacom is its South African subsidiary. Of course, to be more accurate, Vodacom operations are a part of Vodafone’s global network. Which means that when you think of Vodafone, you ought to include the operations of Vodacom in Africa.

Takeaways on the relationship between Vodafone and Vodacom

  • Vodafone is the parent company to Vodacom.
  • Vodacom is the African operations of Vodafone.

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