Vodafone to create 1,400 jobs in UK

Vodafone Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Vodafone said it is confident in the future of the British High Street

Vodafone has said it will create 1,400 jobs by opening 150 new shops in 2014.

The mobile phone company's investment in the UK will reach £1bn in 2014, the highest in Vodafone's history, it said.

It said the money would partly be spent on boosting its indoor and outdoor coverage and taking 2G, 3G and 4G services to 98% of the UK.

The first shops will open in London's Notting Hill, Fulham, Walthamstow, Wembley, Ilford, and across the UK in Perry Barr and Bicester.

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Media captionVodafone UK boss Jeroen Hoencamp wants to increase "high street presence"

A spokesperson for Vodafone said the company "strongly believed" in the future of the UK's High Street.

Vodafone is the third-largest mobile operator in Britain after EE and O2.

Project Spring

Last year, Vodafone sold its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to US telecoms group Verizon Communications in one of the biggest deals in corporate history.

The $130bn (£84bn) deal allowed the company to return £54bn to its shareholders and also invest money in its business, with funds earmarked for high speed mobile phone networks.

Vodafone has said it plans to spend up to £25bn of the money it generated from the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless on investment in its core European networks.

It said that by 2017 its main five European markets would have almost complete 4G coverage.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Vodafone sold its stake in Verizon Wireless, yielding a windfall for investors

The company is launching a £6bn investment plan called Project Spring, which will accelerate the introduction of 4G networks and increase investment in laying fibre optic cables, among other things.

Project Spring will also add to Vodafone's high street stores and develop mobile payment services, the firm said last year.

Last month, Vodafone agreed to buy Spanish cable operator Ono for 7.2bn euros ($10bn; £6bn), in deal aimed at expanding its interests in Europe.

Ono offers cable TV and internet services and has 1.9 million customers in Spain. The deal came six months after Vodafone bought a controlling stake in German cable operator Kabel.

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