More reports on: Telecom

Vodafone to close Silicon Valley research facility

04 June 2014

Vodafone is set to close its research facility in Silicon Valley and expand its London team as the telecommunications company sought to tap into UK engineering skills.

The Vodafone Xone hub in London would be responsible for mobile technologies development, focused on building and testing prototype devices and developing apps and services tailored for the group's biggest markets in Europe, Africa and India.

The Guardian quoted Stefano Parisse, Vodafone's consumer services director as saying establishing a new hub in London would bring the company's product development team closer to the customers it served.

He added, it would allow the company to draw on a vast pool of technology talent in the UK and Europe and simplify its development process, enabling the company to get the very latest technology into the hands of customers as quickly as possible.

The venture capital arm or the group would remain in California, helping to fund early-stage technology startups, while Vodafone Global Enterprise, which supplied mobile services to American companies, would remain in Silicon Valley.

However, the closure of Vodafone's research base in Redwood, California, was something of a reversal as the office had opened in September 2011, with a brief to incubate startups.

The London centre would be populated by a team of engineers and designers with a mandate to building device prototypes, developing new apps and services, and speed up taking the technology to markets.

Pratapa Bernard, formerly the boss of its consumer services business in emerging business has been named the new head of Xone, replacing Fay Arjomandi, would be leaving the company.

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