To most people, the news that Vodafone's UK division took a 5.2% revenue hit in the final three months of 2012 would suggest that EE's exclusive hold on the 4G airwaves has been causing some pain.
But not Vodafone Group chief exec Vittorio Colao. He reckons there hasn't been any noticeable migration to the 4G promised land at all, and that it's mainly just “technology freaks” signing up.
Let's have Colao's comments in full: “I haven't got reports of customers flying away to 4G,” he said. “The kind of people who are going for it are technology freaks.”
This after Vodafone announced its biggest revenue drop in three years, the Guardian reports, despite subscriber numbers actually increasing by 230,000 over the quarter to 19.5 million.
In other words, Vodafone has more customers but they're spending less. Which would probably happen if specifically subscribers who consume a lot of data on high-tariff monthly contracts were going elsewhere. Damn those “technology freaks”.
Of course, that effectively means Colao is right. But where he's wrong is in thinking it isn't a big deal. For the record, his own take on the sagging revenues is that it's the result of Vodafone tweaking its prices and customers bargain-hunting in the run-up to Christmas (as if that was a phenomenon that only magically came into existence in September 2012).
Never mind – EE's 4G monopoly will be a thing of the past in a few months' time, at which point maybe those technology freaks will consider giving Vodafone another go.