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Vodafone's £100m investment means 1,400 jobs

Newbury-based Vodafone has announced a £100 million pound investment in High Street shops over the next year. The company's UK base is in the town - and the Prime Minister is there today, meeting staff.

Vodafone has a long association with Newbury. The company began its life there - and the first mobile phone call was made from London to Newbury in 1985. Today's announcement means 150 new retail shops - and 1,400 more jobs.

Company confirms "advanced" talks

Mobile phone firm Vodafone has confirmed it is in talks over a possible sale of its 45 per cent stake in US communications firm Verizon.

The company is based in Newbury and also has offices in Basingstoke.

Vodafone confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Verizon Communications Inc. regarding the disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless for US$130 billion. The consideration would substantially comprise a mixture of Verizon common stock and cash."

– Vodafone

Vodafone said it was releasing the statement in response to media speculation. It added that there was no certainty an agreement would be reached. The company said it would make a further announcement "as soon as practicable".

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Berkshire-based Vodafone in $100 billion deal

Shares in the mobile phone giant, who have their HQ in Newbury, Berkshire, jumped 9% after it said it was in discussions with US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America's largest mobile phone operator.

It is thought that Verizon wants to pay around 100 billion US dollars (£64.4 billion) for the stake, although reports have said that Vodafone is pressing for as much as 130 billion US dollars (£83.8 billion).

The Newbury-based company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on major acquisitions or a return of cash to shareholders.

Vodafone notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in discussions with Verizon Communications regarding the possible disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless. There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached.

– Vodafone

Vodafone and O2 go head-to-head with 4G launches

Berkshire-based Vodafone and O2 go head-to-head today as they both launch high-speed 4G mobile phone data services.

O2 and Vodafone both launch 4G services today Credit: PA Wire

Vodafone, whose headquarters are in Newbury, will offer 4G to its customers in London, while O2 launches its service in London, Leeds and Bradford.

The mobile giants will compete against EE, which has been the only company offering super-fast mobile data in the UK.

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EE milks 4G headstart over phone rivals

Liverpool legend Ian Rush, star of the 1980s milk advert that gave Accrington Stanley FC national stardom, helped celebrate the EE launch. Credit: Bob Collier/PA

EE has had a 10-month headstart on phone rivals Vodafone and O2 after winning the right to launch 4G coverage in the UK.

EE's mobile internet service began in October and now covers 60% of the UK population.

The phone company yesterday crowned Accrington in Lancashire the 100th town in Britain to receive the "super-fast" service.

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Phone giants target 13 cities by end of year with 4G

4G - fourth generation networks - can provide data to smartphone users on average six times faster than 3G connections. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

While today's launch of 4G services by O2 and Vodafone will be limited, both aim to have 4G network coverage in 13 cities by the end of the year and eventually serve 98% of Britain.

O2's service will initially be switched on in London, Leeds and Bradford, reaching up to five million people. Vodafone will roll its service out in parts of the capital.

The phone companies will then expand to London, Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

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