Vodafone Idea (Vi) is getting pretty aggressive with its 5G trials in India. The telco was the first in the country to test 5G with mmWave spectrum, achieving speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps. Further, the telco is aggressively partnering up with other companies/platforms to test 5G for enterprises or industry 4.0 solutions. In the last four days itself, Vi has announced that it has partnered with Athonet and Larson & Toubro (L&T) for testing enterprise and smart city solutions. Both tests are geared to bring a lot of B2B revenues for the company.
Vodafone Idea Might Focus on B2B More
Vodafone Idea definitely understands its market position as a B2C company. Competitors like Jio and Airtel are far ahead in attracting customers. Despite offering unique and full of value prepaid plans, Vi is unable to add new wireless subscribers.
Thus, while Vi is investing in its 4G networks, the company will also be looking at other ways to bring revenues. Everyone in the industry understands the use cases of 5G. As I have previously suggested, the telecom operators will focus more on 4G for B2C revenues for the next few years, and with 5G, the enterprise sector is where the whole game will be.
Most of the users will be hesitant for paying more for 5G if they can get good 4G services with consistent speed and coverage. Vodafone Idea knows this, and that is why it might be banking on the rise in enterprise revenues with 5G.
Things such as private networks, network slicing, and more will come into play with 5G. The telco is already testing multiple enterprise and smart city solutions for 5G. There could be a significant rise in enterprise revenues for the telcos with 5G. Vodafone Idea might want to be at the forefront with enterprise 5G solutions while Jio and Airtel focus more on the B2C segment.
This doesn’t mean that Vodafone Idea can’t invest in 4G at the same time. The telco’s cash flow position will certainly be better than what it used to be because of the relief measures. This will help it in investing aggressively in 4G networks as well.