Two of India’s largest telecom service providers, Vodafone India of the the Vodafone group and Idea, a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group have officially merged and become India’s largest telecom service provider on September 17, 2018 with over 408 million subscribers, a 32.2% revenue market share (RMS), revenue of more than Rs 60,000 crore and a combined debt of over Rs 1.15 lakh crores.
The merger between the these two giants was fueled by the current onslaught of tariff war launched by Reliance Jio Infocomm which has already generated over 20% revenue market share in two years of launching its services. For the last 15 years, Bharti Airtel has been the largest telecom service provider but as of 17 September, this position has been taken over by Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL). Furthermore, the board of Vodafone Idea Ltd. (VIL) has approved the merger of its unit Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd. (ABTL) with itself. This step takes them closer towards monetizing the company’s 11.15% stake in Indus Towers to pare debt.
Together, Vodafone Idea Ltd is working on building a stronger accessible network for every user – be it in a city, town or village, they aim to reach everyone. They are also working on introducing newer and smarter technologies such as 5G, loT, m-commerce, always-on digital customer services and more taking a step towards creating a truly “Digital India”.
Only time will tell how Vodafone Idea Ltd performs and competes with the existing market, Airtel and Reliance Jio and catches up with their 4G roll out, in which they have lagged so far.