What will Vodafone’s takeover of Lebara mean for customers?

Alex Kidman 13 September 2016

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Vodafone will take over the Lebara brand in Australia, but it’s business as usual for now.

Telstra has boost, Optus has Virgin Mobile, but ever since it shuttered the Crazy John’s business, Vodafone hasn’t had its own budget brand to speak of, although it does have a smattering of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) partners on its network.

That looks set to change with Vodafone announcing that it has acquired MVNO Lebara’s business in Australia. Under the terms of the deal, Vodafone will take over Lebara’s existing Australian customer base and retain the right to use the Lebara brand in the local marketplace. Vodafone hasn’t stated how much it has paid for the acquisition.

I’m a Lebara customer. What will this mean to me?

For now, the changes should be all but invisible. Lebara’s mobile services already operate on Vodafone’s 4G network, so there won’t be a shift in terms of network usage or availability for Lebara customers. Vodafone hasn’t yet signalled any price changes or shifts in how Lebara customers access recharges or customer service at this stage.

Vodafone has signalled that it intends to continue using the Lebara brand for now. In a statement, Vodafone Chief Strategy Officer Dan Lloyd said that "We expect the Lebara Mobile brand to become an even stronger force in the Australian mobile market. We look forward to championing the Lebara Mobile brand to offer choice and value to Australia’s strong and growing migrant communities."

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