Hong Kong cellco SmarTone Telecommunications, which currently trades as SmarTone-Vodafone, has announced that it will not renew its marketing partnership agreement with UK-based Vodafone Group at the end of this year, and will drop the Vodafone brand from its name. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database SmarTone officially adopted the Vodafone brand suffix in April 2005 following the signing of a partner network agreement with the UK mobile group to cooperate in the development and marketing of global services. SmarTone CEO Douglas Li said in a statement: ‘The marketing cooperation has been valuable to both parties over the years. However, our interests have diverged for some while and after extended discussions both parties agreed it best for each to pursue its own course.’
Another Vodafone partner, Singaporean mobile operator M1, has also decided to end its marketing relationship with the UK group at the end of this year; M1 joined the Vodafone Partner Network for roaming and international services in 2003.