Vodafone Group announces intention to make offer for Wayfinder

Industry pundits back Vodafone’s recent announcement that it intends to make a public off for Swedish navigation company, Wayfinder.

IDC analyst, Jonathan Arber, said this acquisition will enable Vodafone to develop its existing mobile navigation products and services both more rapidly and more cost effectively. In addition, it will enable it to more closely integrate location-based functionality with other Vodafone products and services.

“This allows Vodafone to more easily combine existing customer information with location data as a driver for both personalised internet services, and potentially targeted advertising,” Arber explained. “This is a somewhat surprising move given the current economic climate, and Vodafone’s stated focus on cost control and growth from core assets at its last technology day. That being said, we believe that there is still considerable growth in the mobile navigation space, and many of the most attractive acquisition targets are rapidly being snapped up.

“As such, we would expect a minor flurry of similar acquisitions to follow in the coming six to12 months, as operators and other players seek to strengthen their position,” Arber continued.

Arber stated that this is the first time industry has seen a mobile operator attempt to acquire a navigation company, and it illustrates just how seriously the operators are taking the navigation opportunity. He added: “It also represents a significant investment for Vodafone, and many questions are as yet unanswered about how it will run Wayfinder as a business going forward.”