Vodafone moving on up

Company opens new HQ as customer endorsement at record high

Vodafone’s new purpose-built headquarters (HQ) “Vodafone Central” in North Sydney was officially opened this morning by Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield and Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Inaki Berroeta.

The newest addition to North Sydney’s skyline, Vodafone’s signage sits atop its new address at 177 Pacific Highway.

Vodafone Central occupies eight floors with some 10,000 square metres converted into a new working space for its 1,000-plus head office employees. The move sees the company bring together its former North Sydney and Chatswood offices into one location.

Vodafone Chief Executive Inaki Berroeta said he was proud to open Vodafone’s new HQ at a time when the company is taking great strides in customer recommendation.

“Today is a defining moment for our company. For me, the opening of our new headquarters is a real source of pride that I have as CEO,” said Mr Berroeta.

“It demonstrates that our customers are feeling the difference. That our investment and hard work to improve our network over the last few years, to deliver products and services giving our customers more choice and freedom and providing a level of service that makes them feel valued as customer – is resonating.

“Last month, I was truly humbled to learn that our customers’ willingness to recommend our products and services to their friends, family and colleagues had reached its highest levels since this company started.

“To have our customers’ vote of confidence and support is something we appreciate wholeheartedly, and we will continue to work hard to preserve this.”

It smells like team spirit

Mr Berroeta said the decision to reshape how the company operates is critical to it delivering differentiated products and world class services to customers now and in the future.

“Being a company at the cutting edge of technology and with our customer service ambitions, we have had to overhaul how we work and where we work,” said Mr Berroeta.

“Our new approach helps to ensure that our people are trusted to work in a way that makes sense for their role: whether that’s physically in the office or virtually. This combined with an increased focus on collaboration makes us more agile and responsive to our customers’ needs.”

Vodafone’s workplace transformation has seen it do away with offices — not even the CEO Inaki Berroeta has his own office — instead, the focus is on flexible working. With shared desks and teleconferencing facilities, employees are encouraged to hot desk, work virtually and cross-functionally. Formal meetings are discouraged with a preference for short informal conversations.

The new work environment also features a “Customer Immersion Zone” that has been created and equipped with interactive displays to showcase Vodafone’s current product and service offerings to employees. It also doubles as a destination for customers to speak directly with a customer service representative.

“Drawing together employees from across the business — from the CTO to back office and customer facing employees — is key to our success to staying ahead of customers’ expectations, especially as we turn our attention to deploying 5G technology and entering new markets such as fixed broadband,” said Mr Berroeta.

Getting 5G ready

During the official opening, Vodafone and Huawei provided a preview into the future of telecommunications with a live short-range 5G trial.

The exhibition involved a concept demonstrator operating in the 73GHz band which showcased data speed. The demonstrations achieved throughput speeds of 35Gbps, over 2GHz of spectrum.

Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Millroy said today’s successful demonstration was to showcase the data speed potential of 5G for short range applications.

“The short range usage of 5G, which is capable of the highest speeds, is envisaged for indoor buildings or smaller areas such as inside a home, a small business, shopping centre, or corporate office, or alternatively in outdoor public spaces like Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, Central Station, Darling Harbour, and similar areas in other cities,” said Mr Millroy.

Director of Huawei’s Carrier Business Group, Yan Jun, said: “It is fitting that we celebrate the opening of Vodafone’s new headquarters. We are also celebrating a milestone in the new era of telecommunications with our partnership. We are only three years away from the first 5G commercial network globally and Vodafone and Huawei are ensuring Australia is an early adopter to the great benefits that 5G will underpin.”

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Notes to editors

  • Vodafone has signed a 10-year lease for the new site in North Sydney, including signage rights to the building
  • The 40,000sqm building was developed and constructed by CIMIC’s Leighton Properties and CPB Contractors, on behalf of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Suntec REIT). Vodafone Central technology partners are Huawei and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
  •  177 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, is a 5-star green star design rated building and is targeting a 5-star NABERS rating
  •  Vodafone’s Net Promoter Score rating was based on October 2016 figures.