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Vodafone Australia EBITDA tops AU$1b but continues to post net loss

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The Vodafone TV


(Image: Vodafone)

Revenue is up, earnings are up, and net profit is a third better than last time, but the tale of the tape for Vodafone Australia is that it is still left with a net loss at the bottom of its financial reports.

In what CEO Iñaki Berroeta labelled as a good year for the company, Vodafone Australia saw its revenue increase 5.5 percent year-on-year to AU$3.65 billion for the year to December 31, and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) jump by 13.4 percent to AU$1.1 billion.

For its bottom line, net loss was reduced by 30 percent to AU$124.4 million compared to last year’s AU$177 million.

Across the year, Vodafone saw its total customer base surpass six million thanks to the addition of 211,000 customers. Broken down, the telco increased its postpaid customers by 2 percent to record 3.45 million, prepaid customers grew six percent to 2.2 million, and the customers on Kogan Mobile and Lebara resellers jumped 5.3 percent to 356,000.

During the year, the company launched its entry into fixed-line broadband that would see Vodafone release retail NBN plans. On Wednesday, Berroeta said the company was adding around 6,000 customers each month, as the company reported having 33,000 NBN customers.

Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) was down 2 percent to AU$37.45 for customers restricted to Vodafone’s own offerings, while adding in customers on Kogan and Lebara saw ARPU fall by 4.4 percent to AU$35.52.

Commenting on the results, Berroeta pointed to mobile market competition and increasing data inclusions across the industry.

“The price of data per GB has been on a steep decline for several years, decreasing around 85 percent over the past two and a half years,” he said.

“For example, the price per GB on a competitive [mobile network operator] AU$40/AU$45 SIM Only plan was just under AU$7 in 2016, today it’s around AU$1.”

Berroeta also added the company had spent AU$1.3 billion during the year to handle the increases in data being used, and to get its network ready for 5G. The spend included constructing 180 new mobile sites and upgrading 850 existing sites.

“This included the construction of 22 new sites as part of the Australian government’s mobile blackspots program,” Vodafone half-owner Hutchison Telecoms said in its results.

“[Vodafone Australia’s] significant network investment in metropolitan and regional areas helped support growing customer data usage, which increased 45 percent from 2017 to more than 360 million gigabytes in 2018. ”

Following the decision by the Australian government to lock Huawei and ZTE out of any 5G network build in the country, Vodafone will need to find a replacement for the Huawei kit it uses.

“We are currently evaluating the different options around the 5G roadmap,” Berroeta said. “It is not a secret that we were basically an Ericsson core with a Huawei radio access network.”

“It is still a long time to be using 4G, but eventually, every … service that we provide on 5G will be on different equipment than Huawei.”

The first casualty of the Huawei ban has been TPG, who disclosed earlier this week that it would abandon its mobile network build in Australia, incurring an accounting hit of almost AU$230 million.

However, should the proposed merger between TPG and Vodafone go ahead, the new and bigger TPG would have Vodafone’s current network coupled with TPG’s existing spectrum holdings, and the AU$263 million of 5G spectrum purchased in December.

Berroeta said the merger now makes more sense than before, and the combined assets would make a very strong third player in the market.

“With the next generation of mobile network just around the corner, there’s never been a more important time to ensure Australia has effective 5G mobile competition,” he said.

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This Hidden iPhone Feature Let’s You Make A Call With One Button

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The iPhone has a hidden feature that allows you to quickly redial the last phone number that you called. Rather than thumbing through your contact list to find your friend’s number again, you can immediately bring it up by using the manual dialer.

All you need to do is open the Phone app on your iPhone, open the manual dialer, and tap the green call button without entering anything. The first time you tap the call button, the last number that you called or dialed will be automatically pasted into the number entry. If you press the call button again, you’ll call that number. 

All in all, it’s three quick taps (open the dialer, tap the call button, tap it again) versus several minutes of contact list scrolling and number-selecting. It’s much quicker, to say the least, especially if your contacts list is especially long. Just remember to take a moment to check the number before you redial, in case you’ve been making a lot of different calls.

While we’re on the subject of re-dialing, if you use Siri on your phone, you can also quickly redial a number with a voice command. Just activate Siri and say “redial that last number” to immediately call the last number that you dialed. Or, if you want to quickly hop back onto a number that called you, you can say “return my last call.”

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Missed A Message? Here’s How To Access Your Android’s Notification Log

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Notification history has been around on Android phones for years now, but the method to access the setting varies by which smartphone you’re using. Some phones, like the Google Pixel, use a stock version of Android, while others, like OnePlus and Samsung, use their own interface on top of Android. Here’s how to find the feature, irrespective of which version of Android your phone is running:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap Advanced settings or More settings.
  4. Tap Notification history.
  5. Turn on the toggle on the next page.

On a Google Pixel phone, you’ll find Notification history inside the main Notifications settings menu. If you can’t see the option on your Android phone, use the search bar in the Settings app to search for Notification history. Tap on the option and turn on the toggle next to it.

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8 Game-Changing Smart Home Devices You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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Depending on who you ask, mowing the lawn is either an enjoyable weekend routine or a seemingly never-ending chore. For anyone in the latter camp, Husqvarna’s Automower does almost everything for you — all you have to do is set it up and leave it to run. Well, not quite — you’ll have to install a boundary wire around your yard first so that your mower doesn’t pay an unsolicited visit to the neighbor’s house, but once it’s set up, it’s pretty hassle-free to operate.

Using the Automower Connect app, you can check in on how your mower is doing, find exactly where it is, and see how far it’s progressed through the mowing cycle. Alternatively, its status can also be checked through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. An alarm system and PIN code locking system help deter thieves, and you’d certainly hope so given the price, as it retails for $2,499.99 on Amazon, but is sometimes discounted to $1,999.99.

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