Sunil Bharti Mittal has repeatedly said that it would be tragic if India’s telecom market is reduced to two private players. While Mittal has a lot of experience inside the telecom industry and his insights are valuable, his mention of India becoming a two private telecom operators nation is largely speculation and unrealistic at the moment.
Mittal has indirectly taken a dig at the struggling Vodafone Idea (Vi) and said that India is already down to 2.5 operators from earlier 12, and if things boil down to 2 operators, it will be tragic for the industry.
Note that Mittal didn’t say that he wants the industry to be run by 2 operators only, and neither did he take Vi’s name, but one can surely understand which operator he was talking about. His comments were more on the ‘tragic’ note if that was to happen, meaning he supports and wants the market to have 3 private players at least.
Vodafone Idea Gaining Momentum
Mittal's comments don’t seem very threatening at the moment. Yes, I agree with his statement that if the industry was to boil down to two operators, it would be ‘tragic’. However, looking at the way Vi has added subscribers in February and March 2021, it doesn’t feel like that would happen.
Vodafone Idea has invested a ton of money and resources on its network, and if you can do the math, the investment wasn’t to exit the market but to offer better services and gain subscribers. The best part is, the telco did gain subscribers.
Vi further provided the fastest 4G network in India for three consecutive quarters. The telco has prepaid plans which no other operator offers. More importantly, Vi is listening to its customers. The telco just started providing services in Parapatta, a small village in Kerala where no other operator is providing network services.
This shows that the telco is also looking at the rural parts of India to expand the business. With the added network capacity, a new partnership with Cisco that the telco announced yesterday, and great prepaid plans, Vodafone Idea is just as good as any other telecom operator in India.
There’s no denying that Vi has its challenges, and there will be more hardships ahead, but there’s one thing that’s clearly visible, Vi is here to stay. The telco’s network services are only improving, and it is only a matter of time when I believe Vi will be competing at par with Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.
Consumers Understanding the Power of Vi’s 4G Networks
Consumers are finally understanding and getting across the power of Vi’s 4G networks. What the telco lacks in the network coverage domain, it makes up for it in the network capacity. That said, there’s no way Vi isn’t planning on expanding the network coverage aggressively.
Further, there’s no other operator who offers leftover FUP data to its customers from the weekdays on the weekends. On top of that, there’s no operator who offers free data at nights and that too every day.
Vi is just too big and too good to go away from the market. Whatever telcos’ had to go, they have gone. But the ones that are here - are here to stay. There’s no way one can ignore Vi’s enterprise business.
The telco is aiming to bump up revenues with its enterprise business and will be further revamping broadband offerings throughout the nation to attract new customers. This coupled with 4G network services, and if the subscriber addition rate keeps consistent, the telco will be out of its troubles very soon.