Vodafone strengthens New England connection

Barnaby Joyce cuts the ribbon on Vodafone’s new Armidale store

Vodafone today strengthened its connection with New England when it opened the doors to its new store in Armidale.

The store was officially opened by the Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce. Also at the opening were Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, the Mayor of Armidale Dumaresq Council, Laurie Bishop, and the Deputy Mayor of Armidale Dumaresq Council, Herman Beyersdorf, along with local business representatives and Vodafone executives including CEO Iñaki Berroeta.

The opening comes on the back of the recent announcement that Vodafone has received funding for 18 mobile phone towers in the New England area as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.

The programme will see Vodafone invest more than $4.5m in the New England area, expanding mobile coverage by over 2,000 square kilometres.

Vodafone CEO Iñaki Berroeta said today’s store opening signified the company’s commitment to servicing the New England region.

“This is the start of our long-term commitment to New England,” said Mr Berroeta.

“We believe the people of New England have missed out on choice and competition – something that our city customers have long enjoyed.

“A recent report by the Centre for Independent Economics revealed Telstra’s customers in regional Australia are paying a premium of up to $650 per year due to a lack of competition. This is something Vodafone is here to change by offering customers a choice.

“Thanks to funding from the Commonwealth and NSW governments, the Mobile Black Spot Programme has improved the viability of alternative providers, such as Vodafone, to expand their presence in regional Australia. We thank Minister Joyce for his support of our efforts to help drive competition in areas where this was unlikely to happen without government intervention.”

In addition to the investment in the Mobile Black Spot Programme, Mr Berroeta said the company plans to bring 4G services to the region next year.

“Over the coming months, we will be upgrading our network in Armidale and plan to build new sites to bring 4G services to our customers in Armidale and Tamworth next year,” he said.

The Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said that he was excited to see Vodafone opening a store in Armidale which builds on its investment in the region under the Government’s Black Spot Programme.

“I welcome Vodafone’s expanded presence in New England and am delighted that the company is investing in infrastructure and jobs in the area. These investments are great news for the people of New England who now have more choice when it comes to their mobile provider”, said Mr Joyce.

Vodafone also confirmed that more stores and more jobs will follow the company’s network expansion.

Armidale is the 52nd store that Vodafone has opened since June 2014 as part of its national regional expansion program.

Vodafone’s Armidale store is located at 187 Beardy Street. The store sells Vodafone’s full suite of consumer and business products.

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Notes to the editor:
4G available with a 4G device and an active prepaid recharge or plan with Vodafone Alerts. 4G in selected cities in Australia. See vodafone.com.au/coverage