Three years after the UK telecommunications company Vodafone Group’s Indian company and the Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular integrated into the country, Vodafone Idea, being one of India’s largest telecom operators, rebranded themselves as “Vi” in search of a “fresh start.”
“Once two firms are already merged, it is time to start anew. That is why we think this is the right way to start Vi, a business that gives Vodafone India and idea its power”, said Nick Read, Chief Executive Officer, at Monday’s virtual conference. About 100 million customers have moved to the pioneer Jio networks in recent years who once have been using the Vodafone Idea network, making them the biggest mobile provider. Total subscribers of Vodafone Idea where more than 400 million before losing about 100 million of them.
The wealthiest person in India, Mukesh Ambani’s telecoms firm, with its slashing cellular data prices, has been the largest telecom firm with almost 400 million customers. More than $20 billion in funding from leading companies which include Facebook and Google has also been raised by Jio Networks in the past few months.
India is worldwide the second biggest telecommunications market and the biggest provider of data. Today, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairperson of Aditya Birla Group, and Vodafone Idea, at the summit, told “1.2 billion Indian people who have access to voice and data services are having a huge impact over lives at the lowest tariff rates and that too in around more than 500.000 villages across the country”.
“With our new brand — Vi, we’re dedicated with government partners to speeding up India’s move into a digital economy, making it possible for millions of people to link to the technological revolution and create a brighter tomorrow.” In its statement of the deal, the firm said it will invest in 4 G broadband, which already employs over 1 billion people in India, twice as many as it does.
Last week, investors accepted the sale of 3.4 billion dollars in stake by selling equity and rising debt. Earlier in the month, the corporation was given far-needed relief in India following Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, another giant Indian telecommunications provider, to pay their dues of billions to the government in the next 10 years.
Before the court decision, Vodafone Group had indicated that perhaps the short three-month timeline for the government of India to settle the debts was not realistic for the telecommunications giant and that it would have no alternative but to leave the industry. The shares of Vodafone Idea, which grew 10 percent in the morning session, were 3.30 percent immediately after the Monday press conference.