Camera phones represent the best hope of the mobile operators. Proven demand in Japan gives European operators reason for optimism that cameras will increase ARPU. Handset manufacturers believe it will ignite replacement demand.
Vodafone has confirmed that it is in discussions to sell its Italian business to Swisscom for €8bn having rebuffed a higher offer from Iliad for an Italian JV in December.
The Spanish and Italian deals should be reassuring to investors, are helpful to the growth profile of the company, and may help to reduce any conglomerate discount in the share price.
The all-important free cashflow impact of the deals remains to be seen with potential for buybacks of up to €10bn compensating for the direct dilution of the deals and softening the blow of any dividend downgrade in May.