Vodafone Idea Limited has now confirmed the successful consolidation of its radio network in Haryana telecom circle within just two months. The telco has started integrating the network a couple of months and it has already announced the completion of the same. According to Vodafone Idea, Haryana is amongst the first eight circles to complete integration in the world’s largest network integration exercise which is currently underway in India. Also, the telco confirmed the integration in other circles is taking place on a cluster-by-cluster basis to offer a better experience to the subscribers.
Vodafone Idea Racing Ahead With Network Integration
The proposed merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular became operational from August 31, 2018, and since then, the combined entity has started merging network. In many parts of the country, subscribers of Vodafone are noticing their network latching onto Idea Cellular's network and vice-versa.
According to Sanjeev Govil, Business Head, Vodafone Idea Ltd., “The successful consolidation of the network in Haryana circle will enable over 11.25 million customers. Vodafone and Idea customers to enjoy a unified network experience on 2G, 3G & 4G. We are deploying new age technologies to enhance the customer experience as we are building a robust, future-ready network in Haryana”.
Talking about Vodafone Idea's network coverage in Haryana circle, it's available across 145 towns and 6520 villages, covering 99.5% of popular. Vodafone Idea has a 4G coverage of 76.08% population in the region. In just two months, the 4G coverage has been enhanced to cover 22 districts and 137 towns in the region.
Vodafone Idea Also Losing Subscribers on a Large Number
The first major step taken by Vodafone Idea after becoming operational was the introduction of minimum recharge plans. In October 2018, top telcos- Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea launched minimum recharge plans to increase their ARPU and to focus only on revenue-generating customers. While this move has an immediate effect on ARPU, both the telcos lost subscribers on a large number.
At the end of September 30, 2018, Vodafone Idea' combined subscriber base was 408 million, however, at the end of December 31, 2018, the same was reduced to 387 million, which is underwhelming. Airtel, on the other hand, reported a subscriber base of 284 million as of December 31, 2018, a reduction of 57 million subscribers in Q2 FY19.
Right now, both Airtel and Vodafone Idea are focusing on enhancing their mobile network. For example, Airtel is deploying LTE-900 technology across its major telecom circles to boost the indoor 4G coverage.
Another task which is on Vodafone Idea' shoulders is the massive debt. The telco is planning to reduce the same by selling its tower assets for Rs 20,000 crore. There's no doubt that Vodafone Idea is struggling at the moment and it'll be interesting to see how it goes in the coming months.