• Vodafone’s once-powerful Partner Markets organisation lost another member in the form of Swiss incumbent Swisscom.

Swisscom defects to FreeMove, leaves Vodafone's Partner Markets

Swisscom defects to FreeMove, leaves Vodafone’s Partner Markets

Source: Swisscom

Vodafone’s once-powerful Partner Markets organisation lost another member in the form of Swiss incumbent Swisscom, following the latter’s defection to rival roaming and enterprise services federation FreeMove. A Group statement was put out in January 2020, noting Swisscom rival Sunrise Communications — the recent target of a failed acquisition attempt by Group M&A buddy Liberty Global — had become a Partner Markets associate at the start of the year. A choreographed statement from FreeMove declared Swisscom had transferred to join Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia (TI), and Telia in FreeMove, based in The Netherlands. Swisscom — which had been a Partner Markets member since 2006, when Vodafone exited its wireless arm Swisscom Mobile (Vodafonewatch, 2006.11) — did not name its reasons for leaving the federation. One obvious sore-spot in the relationship will have been the expanded wireline presence of Vodafone Italy — and associated increased rivalry with Swisscom-owned player Fastweb — since the tie‑up was last renewed in January 2016 (Vodafonewatch, #139). However, TI’s presence in FreeMove suggests this was not the sole deal-breaker.