Vodafone has acquired Aspective and Isis Telecommunications Management; two UK-based consultancies that specialise in the mobilisation of customer relationship management and sales force applications, as well as providing telecommunications services to small and medium businesses.
At the same time, it has signed an exclusive deal with Fibrelink for secure mobile networking.
These companies are all IT service providers, and the addition of such skills, and client base, is important for a company like Vodafone who wants to be seen as much more than a mobile phone network.
A Vodafone statement says the deals are "part of its longer-term plan to evolve from a mobile-focused company to a total communications provider offering seamless communications to its customers, regardless of network or technology".
These days, the companies formerly known as mobile phone networks are diversifying like crazy to become... something... anything... else. With pressure on mobile phone pricing, and technologies such as mobile VoIP poised to change their income model, no one wants to be called a mobile phone company anymore, and with good reason.
Quite what these companies should be called is still open to question: "Communications companies" or "quad players" are both misleading and we're short of alternatives, so suggestions are welcomed. ®