Vodafone seems to be in quite a good position. It is making a bet on the growth of smartphones, which seems sensible, and recently launched new tariffs that allow cheaper web browsing while abroad. Analysts are backing revenues to grow.

In the longer term, there could be some light at the end of the tunnel regarding a problem that has dogged the company for years.

It emerged earlier this month that Verizon Wireless could resume paying dividends to its parents, Verizon and Vodafone, in 2012. Or the group could sell the stake – valued at $34.4bn – entirely. Either way it is likely to be positive for investors.

The group has been selling non-core assets of late, including its stake in China Mobile, and is rumoured to be close to a sale of its 44% stake in French mobile group SFR. This could prompt a share buy-back at some stage next year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts have Vodafone stock on a price of 8.7 times estimated full-year earnings for 2011.