The first half of 2021 made many feel like the Indian telecom sector is heading towards an inevitable duopoly of Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. Well, that’s not true anymore. It won’t happen because the government has addressed the concern. BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) is never really given any importance while discussing competition in the industry because it is a legacy network operator.
Vodafone Idea is still not adding customers, but the telco has a path in front through which it can. Back in 2021, when the relief measures weren’t announced yet, there were many who thought that Vi wouldn’t survive in the competition and would go bankrupt at the end of the day.
That could have been a very real possibility had the government not stepped in and announced a relief package for the Indian telecom industry. In fact, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is right now working on another relief package for the sector which would help the telcos in boosting business and growth.
Vi has decided to give a considerable amount of equity to the government against the removal of accrued interest dues on the deferred AGR (adjusted gross revenue) payments. This will mean that it will be in the best interests of the government to keep the telco running no matter what happens.
Airtel and Jio Duopoly Not Possible Now
Vodafone Idea is unlikely to go out of the market now. But it certainly needs to come in a better position and improve performance to start making money for the investors. The promoters have shown their disinterest in putting the first foot forward to help the company.
Regardless, Airtel and Jio's duopoly is not possible now. Vodafone Idea is not going anywhere. Further, BSNL is also in line to launch 4G services across India with homegrown technology. For BSNL, we can only say one thing – better late than never.
The telecom sector has been the backbone of the nation during the tough times that everyone had to go through in the last two and half years. Telcos were seriously stressed out on liquidity and had very little cash reserves or none at all to make fresh investments. But things have changed and are changing further. All the three private telcos are soon expected to launch 5G services as well. It will open up fresh streams of revenue for all the operators including Vi. Hopefully, Vi can change things in the near future or else all the help given to the telco would amount to nothing.