How will Vodafone spend the cash?

It's all happening in the mobile phone world. Alongside Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's handset business, Vodafone has unloaded its share in US provider Verizon for a handy $130billion.

The deal will prove to be a nice little windfall for Vodafone investors: apparently, 70% of the cash will be handed back to shareholders. But what will Vodafone do with the remaining cash – approximately $40bn? A number of suggestions have been made, including further investment in its existing network; coverage is at best patchy in some areas. But it's interesting that a deal of this magnitude – apparently, the third largest of its type – is being seen by some as making Vodafone an acquisition target. The view is that, because Vodafone is only a network operator, it's missing out on the service revenues that other organisations are beginning to develop. Ironically, one of the alleged predators is AT&T, which Vodafone attempted to buy some years back.