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Rogers, Vodafone announce partner market deal

TORONTO – Rogers Communications Inc, Canada’s biggest wireless company, and Vodafone Group PLC, the global telecoms group, announced a new market agreement on Tuesday to broaden the services they offer each other’s customers.

They did not provide many details on the scope of the partnership or the terms, but said the non equity deal will make Rogers the exclusive partner of Vodafone Canada, and that they will explore new business opportunities.

Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone company with networks from Australia to India, in the Middle East and across Europe, said its scale will allow Rogers to make more money and cut more costs.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose said the deal likely cements existing roaming agreements, but is positive for Rogers because the Canadian company has been challenged by the development of a shared next-generation network built by wireless competitors BCE Inc and Telus Corp.

The agreement, presumably, will also help Rogers win multinational corporate customers with business in Canada, Ghose wrote in a note to clients.

Rogers’ new chief executive officer, Guy Laurence, who joined the Canadian company late last year from Vodafone’s UK unit, said the partnership will give Rogers access to resources and expertise, allowing it to improve services for its customers.

Shares in Rogers rose 0.3 percent to C$44.58 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Vodafone was down 0.75 percent at 207 pence in London. (Reuters