Vodafone wins key Whitehall contract

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The Independent Online

Vodafone, the world's biggest mobile phone company, was yesterday chosen by the Government as its preferred supplier for mobile communications.

Vodafone, the world's biggest mobile phone company, was yesterday chosen by the Government as its preferred supplier for mobile communications.

The two-year agreement with the Office of Government Commerce, which follows the renegotiation of an existing contract, will give Vodafone access to more than 100,000 public sector mobile users, from nurses to ministers. It is expected to save the Government over £38m in service and administration charges and is part of a three-year programme to cut procurement costs across Whitehall by £1bn.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: "The Government is just like any other corporate customer, only bigger." She said as well as supplying handsets and administration services at discount rates, Vodafone would provide training to Government employees on how to use new mobile technology.

An OGC official said that the agreement was a "strategic partnership" and not an exclusive contract, adding that 50,000 users of government mobiles would still be dependent on other telecoms firms.

Andrew Beale, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, estimated that the deal could be worth as much as 72m euros (£43.2m) a year to Vodafone in customer revenues alone. Vodafone shares yesterday closed down 0.25p at 272.75p.

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