Vodafone Idea Limited Becomes Operational: Everything You Need to Know from 4G Towers to Subscriber Base

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After securing the last nod from NCLT, the merged entity of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, which is already named as Vodafone Idea Limited begins its operations in the country. The merged entity has confirmed that it will have over 408 million subscribers, Revenue Market Share of 32.2% with top position in 9 circles, over 3,40,000 (3G+4G) sites spread across the nation and much more. So it's now official that Bharti Airtel will not be the leading telecom operator anymore as it has close to 350 million subscribers under its belt, nowhere close to the merged entity's 408 million user base. Vodafone Idea LTD also states that they have over 15,000 branded customer stores with over 1.7 million retailers, making it the widest distribution reach.


There are several things you need to know about the merged entity, and we're here to help you with the information we have at the moment. Continue reading for more information.

Vodafone Idea Limited Will Start Operations With 408 Million Customers

According to the official press statement issued by the company, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular's combined entity will start operations with 408 million subscribers. However, do make a note that these numbers are until June 2018, which both the brands reported earlier as well. Earlier, it was expected that the entity would have over 430 million users, but the smaller number comes as a surprise to many.

Over 3,40,000 3G+4G Broadband Sites Covering 840 Million Population

The merged entity of Idea and Vodafone will have over 3,40,000 3G+4G broadband sites across the country. These broadband sites cover a population of 840 million. Furthermore, with 1850 MHz of total spectrum holding, over 200,000 unique GSM sites and nearly 235,000 kms of fibre, the merged company promises superior voice and broadband connectivity across the country, covering 92% of the population and reaching nearly 500,000 towns and villages.

Pole Position in 9 Circles in Terms of Revenue

Vodafone Idea Limited will have a pan-India Revenue Market Share of 32.2%, which is slightly lower than that of Airtel's. Also, the entity will enjoy top position in the revenue aspect across nine circles. Very recently, Vodafone was taken down by Reliance Jio to become the second largest operator in terms of revenue, but now, the merged entity again becomes the second largest telco by revenue.

Widest Retail Chain

In addition to superior quality voice and data service experience, customers will enjoy a variety of digital services and solutions including mobile payments, Internet of Things (IoT), advanced enterprise offerings and entertainment, conveniently accessible via digital channels as well as extensive on-ground presence through nearly 15,000 branded outlets and 1.7 million retail touchpoints across the country.

Furthermore, Vodafone Idea stated it would continue to invest in developing world-class infrastructure and introduce newer and smarter technologies - IoT, high speed and secure leased lines, digital wallets, MIMO and cloud services. As the trusted partner for Indian enterprises, it will empower businesses with future-ready products and services to help them scale up, become more efficient and tap new, emerging opportunities in the digital era.

Vodafone Idea Financial Highlights

Moving onto the financial details, the merger is expected to generate Rs 140 billion annual synergies, including opex synergies of Rs 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value of approximately Rs 700 billion. The equity infusion of Rs 67.5 billion at Idea and Rs 86 billion at Vodafone coupled with the monetisation of standalone towers of both companies for an enterprise value of Rs 78.5 billion, provides the company with a strong cash balance of over Rs 193 billion post-payout of Rs 39 billion to the DoT.

Additionally, the company has an option to monetise an 11.15% stake in Indus, which would equate to a cash consideration of Rs 51 billion. As of June 30, 2018, net debt was Rs 1092 billion.

Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of Vodafone Idea

Earlier this year, Vodafone Idea announced the Broad of Directors and chief persons for the entity. Kumar Mangalam Birla will be chairman of Vodafone Idea, while Balesh Sharma will act as Chief Executive offer. For the unaware, Kumar Mangalam Birla is the current head of Idea Cellular.

Vodafone Idea Merger Details

To recall, the merger of Vodafone Idea was announced way back in March 2017. In the merged entity, Vodafone Group owns a 45.2% stake and Aditya Birla Group owns a 26.0% stake, both on the fully diluted basis. The merger was hit with many hurdles in the process of acquiring necessary approvals from regulators. DoT recently asked to pay Rs 39 billion towards the entry fee and market price of 4.4 MHz spectrum. The entity was also asked to pay Rs 86 billion of equity funding contributed by Vodafone Group, in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.

Reported By

Managing Editor

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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