Vodafone (VOD) is considering a bid for Britain’s Cable & Wireless Worldwide, a move that could help boost bandwidth for its smartphone customers as demand for Internet access on cell phones continues to grow.
The statement follows a report in the Sunday Times that Vodafone is considering a 700 million pound ($1.1 billion) bid for the cable giant.
"Vodafone regularly reviews opportunities in the sector and confirms that it is in the very early stages of evaluating the merits of a potential offer for CWW," the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue said in a statement on Monday.
The Canadian carrier said if a deal were to be proposed, it would likely be offered in cash, though there’s no assurance of that.
According to regulatory law in the U.K., Vodafone has until March 12 to announce a firm decision either way.
Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s board also confirmed that Vodafone is in the very early stages and said it will make further announcement if required in due course.
Losing three-quarters of their value in the 18 months since it was spun off from Cable & Wireless Communications in March 2010, shares of C&W were up more than 45% Monday to $28.58 on the London Stock Exchange.
Cable & Worldwide provides voice, data and hosting services and retains an international cable network connecting more than 150 countries.
Its fixed lines can be used by carriers to connect mobile transmitters to switching offices, enhancing the speed of mobile web surfing for customers.