Earlier today, Idea Cellular has confirmed their merger with Vodafone India labeling the yet-to-be-formed merged entity as India’s largest telecom network thereby dethroning Bharti Airtel as India’s leading telecom operator. Just after the merger news came out, both the operators have announced Kumar Mangalam Birla as the Chairman of the newly formed division.
Commenting on the appointment, Kumar Mangalam Birla quoted as follows “I am pleased and honoured to be the chairman of the new company. It gives me immense pleasure that we reached an agreement to merge our businesses Idea Cellular and Vodafone. We are number two and number three companies in the present telecom sector with a customer base of 400 million.”
The merged entity is yet to get a name, and the companies have confirmed that the same will be revealed in coming months. Vodafone-Idea combined entity will share a total revenue of around 40 percent along with a subscriber base of nearly 400 million.
Besides, both the companies have already confirmed that they will be operating as separate units even after the merger. They also said that there wouldn’t be any impact from tax dispute on the merger.
“We are very complimentary. Idea is strong where Vodafone is weaker. Vodafone is strong where Idea is weaker,” Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group Plc Chief Executive spoke at an event in Mumbai today.
The merged entity’s first step will be towards improving the digital services, which is currently being led by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. “Together, there will be a lot of efficiency of resources that are national and scarce. This will give us an opportunity to accelerate 4G and 4G plus but also 5G. We will be able to deliver speed in excess upto 150 Mbps,” said Colao.
Kumar Mangalam Birla also insisted that both the operators will share equal power and there won’t be any space for monarchy even after the merger. He is expecting the merger to complete in the next 18 months or maybe by the end of 2018. Idea Cellular will hold 26 percent of the shares with Vodafone getting hold of 45.1 percent of the shares. Rest of the shareholders are public.
With this merger, there will surely be a decrease in the competition and with the merged entity both the operators are promising better data services.