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May 19, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Racal Vodafone is predicting that Cellnet’s summer discount promotion, and its own response, announced on Monday, will have little impact on the rivals’ respective shares of the UK mobile cellular phone market. Both promotions are for three months ending August 14 and offer a saving of UKP75. But, whereas the Cellnet promotion is aimed at end-users – new subscribers signed up in the promotion period will get their first six months standing charges at half normal price: UKP12.50 per month instead of the usual UKP25 – Vodafone is targetting its 35 service providers who can pass on any savings to customers if they choose. For the next three months, Vodafone is waiving the UKP50 connection charge for new subscribers and giving dealers a further UKP25 bonus for each subscription. Racal director of corporate communications Ken Ward says that neither scheme will persuade people to change sides but that suits him as, he claims, Vodafone is further ahead than Cellnet admits. Cellnet claims it is 52-48 behind and says it has 72,500 subscribers. However, according to Ward, Vodafone has 85,000 subscribers, a total which is rising by around 1,000 a week, and if the subscriber numbers are correct, would mean a 54-46 lead. Cellnet admits that its summer campaign is designed to close the gap, whatever that may be, and says that with the extra 300 channels it has just got from the Ministry of Defence – Vodafone also got 300 extra – it will be able to cope with demand well into the next decade.

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