Vodafone strengthens commitment to regional Australia

NFF selects Vodafone as exclusive retail telco partner

Vodafone has strengthened its commitment to regional Australia through an agreement which has seen it become the exclusive retail telecommunications partner of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in the development of its online platform for Australian farmers.

Vodafone Head of Machine to Machine (M2M) APAC Justin Nelson said Australian farmers would benefit from Vodafone’s position as the global leader in M2M technology.

“This agreement will enable us to work even more closely with farmers, agribusinesses and consumers to capture the opportunities for mobile technology to drive agricultural productivity,” Mr Nelson said.

“There are enormous benefits for Australian farmers and agribusinesses through ‘precision agriculture’ including solutions which can measure soil moisture, monitor water levels and deliver live updates from the field.

“M2M can help farmers to work smarter and faster, with more precision and accuracy and ultimately improve their livelihoods.”

Vodafone Chief Strategy Officer & Corporate Affairs Director Dan Lloyd said the company is delighted to be supporting Australian farmers through the digital transformation initiative.

“There are six million Australians living and working in regional areas, including over 100,000 farmers, and for too long they have been disadvantaged by a lack of mobile competition and choice of provider,” Mr Lloyd said.

“We know the cost to Australian telco consumers of lack of competition is $3.1 billion* each year. That’s $3.1 billion which could be driving growth but instead is holding back the country, especially in regional areas.

“Vodafone is proud to be the champion for improved regional telecommunications services and increased competition to address the digital divide.

“This agreement supports our advocacy of a better deal for regional Australians and builds on our commitment which includes rolling out 70 new regional mobile sites under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme”.

Mr Lloyd said the agreement was further demonstration of growing confidence in Vodafone and its network, and recognition of the need for competition for mobile services in regional Australia. “The NFF is one of Australia’s largest and most credible peak industry bodies so naturally we’re very pleased to have been selected as the exclusive telco partner for this exciting and important initiative,” he said.

“The Federal Government’s innovation agenda has quite rightly identified agriculture as a key area of focus. Australia has the opportunity to be the leading high-end agricultural producer for Asia, and competition and innovation in communications technology are key to fulfilling that potential.”

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Notes to editors:
NFF’s Online Platform aims to bring farmers, agribusiness professionals and consumers together in an engaging online home. It will deliver the most up-to-date food and agribusiness news, weather and market information, as well as blogs, commentary and the ability to magnify the industry’s voice using campaigns and live policy development. The Online Platform will go live in May 2016.

*Source: Australia’s Telecommunications Market Structure: The price premium paid by consumers by the Centre for International Economics.