Vodafone Netherlands has faced a number of challenges over the past financial year. These have included dealing with the major disruption that Vodafone experienced due to a fire at a network exchange in April 2012 and implementing cost-saving measures, which have resulted in compulsory redundancies. Despite the economic climate and the competitive market, Vodafone Netherlands has performed well. As part of the telecom sector, Vodafone has also been able to make an important contribution to the Dutch economy and to Dutch society.
Did you know that EUR 2.5 billion is invested in telecommunication infrastructure each year? This is roughly the same amount that is invested in the railways (EUR 2.6 billion) and the road network (EUR 2.5 billion)¹. Over the past 40 years, approximately 25% of economic growth in the Netherlands has been a direct or indirect consequence of the opportunities offered by the telecom sector. Of this figure, 80% can be attributed to economic activities that have been made possible by mobile technology. The remaining 20% results from the direct investments in people and technology made by the sector itself. Telecommunication can be a driver for economic growth thanks to investments and innovation and can contribute to cost savings. It also makes society flexible and more mobile.
To maintain and keep improving the quality of the network, Vodafone Netherlands is continuing to invest in its infrastructure and in the Netherlands' spectrum. In the 2012 auction, for example, Vodafone acquired a spectrum licence for EUR 1.4 billion and the company spends between EUR 200 and 250 million on the network each year. Vodafone Netherlands also provides employment, contributes to the creation of a competitive market and encourages efficiency and productivity in top sectors. The company currently employs 3,850 people in the Netherlands and it made purchases totalling more than EUR 200 million from local suppliers over the past financial year.
We are expecting the further implementation of the strategy to bear fruit in 2013, despite the economic climate, which remains tough, and the pressure on the market. Vodafone will also continue to encourage and facilitate innovation with projects such as Startupbootcamp and other partnerships.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board I would like to thank the Board of Directors and all employees for their hard work, commitment and flexibility.
E.A.J. de Rijk
Chairman of the Vodafone Netherlands Supervisory Board
The Supervisory Board comprises three members: Mr E.A.J. de Rijk, Mr R. Schellekens and Ms L. Solomon.
¹ From ICT Marktmonitor 2013