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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Vodafone eyes up overseas market
Football fans using their mobile phones
At home, Vodafone is banking a massive take-up of its 3G services
Mobile phone giant Vodafone is seeking to expand through acquisitions in Asia Poland and France, it has announced.

At a meeting for investors and analysts it vowed to keep growing and continue to focus on turning around its struggling Japanese business.

"There continue to be opportunities around the world in high-growth markets," the company said.

It added that the number of subscribers to its 3G service rose to 4.35 million in August, up one million from July.

Vodafone expects 10 million customers to be using 3G services by the end of the fiscal year, which runs to April.

The group said it plans to woo more customers in the run-up to the key Christmas trading season by offering 15 new types of 3G handsets.

It will also introduce a faster version of 3G - which allows users to download images and videos more quickly - in the first half of 2006.

Fierce competition

The world's largest mobile phone company by revenues is hoping to increase its current holdings in Poland and France.

We can expect great competition from the Telefonicas in Spain and the T-Mobiles in Germany and DoCoMO and 'au' in Japan
Arun Sarin, chief executive

Vodafone hopes to increase its near 20% stake in Poland's Polkomtel and its 44% stake in France's second-largest telecoms group SFR.

The group also will continue to look for opportunities in Asia.

Chief executive Arun Sarin said that while business trends were promising in the US, competition remained fierce in Europe and Japan.

"Frankly in the next six months, we can expect great competition from the Telefonicas in Spain and the T-Mobiles in Germany and DoCoMO and 'au' in Japan," Mr Sarin said.

Vodafone was holding a day of presentations to investors and analysts on Monday.

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