Vodafone started off as a subsidiary of Racal, an electronics and radar company based in Britain in 1983. In 1985, the company rolled out a cellular telephone network in Britain. Vodafone began acquiring cellular companies across the world in the last decade of the 20th century. In addition to cellular companies, Vodafone has interests in steel manufacturing through the companies it acquired. Vodafone Group became official after demerging from Racal Electronics in 1991. Vodafone changed its name to Vodafone Airtouch PLC in 1999 after acquiring AirTouch Communications. In the same year, Vodafone’s US operations merged with Bell Atlantic Corp resulting in the formation of Verizon.
Presently, Vodafone is primarily a telecommunications company operating globally with headquarters in Newbury, United Kingdom. Vodafone offers mobile services and internet of things (IoT) connectivity. Other services include automotive insurance, health solutions, cloud services, and network security. Across Africa, Vodafone partners with local and international cellular companies to offer a mobile payments platform called M-Pesa. Vodafone Group’s shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ.