Vodafone Idea Limited, the merged entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, today announced the successful consolidation of nearly 25% of its pan-India radio network integration within five months of the merger. To recall, Vodafone Idea Limited became operational on August 31, 2018, and the telco with over 400 million subscribers promised network integration would be completed by the end of FY20. "Customers of both Vodafone and Idea Cellular are able to enjoy a unified network experience on 2G, 3G & 4G, in the service areas of West Bengal, Haryana, HP, Assam, North East, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (excl. Hyderabad), J&K and MP & Chhattisgarh," said Vodafone Idea in a press statement.
Vodafone Idea Improves 4G Network Experience in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai
In the eight circles mentioned above, Vodafone Idea has completed the full radio network consolidation. In addition to that, the telco stated the 4G network radio consolidation has been completed in Bengaluru. Additionally, Idea Cellular launched 4G services to its subscribers in Kolkata circle with the help of Vodafone. The UK-based telco also introduced 4G services with the help of Idea Cellular in Bihar & Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh circles.
The company has also re-farmed 10 MHz of the 4G spectrum of Vodafone in Mumbai to enable its customers in the metro get better data experience. In other circles, network integration is taking place on a cluster-by-cluster basis and the subscribers of both brands are gradually moving to a much larger and better network.
“With meticulous pre-merger planning and rigorous post-merger execution, we have ensured that our customers remain confidently connected and enjoy uninterrupted services even as we integrate and optimise our network in a phased manner across circles. We have partnered the best of global vendors and equipment suppliers to deploy new age technologies, with in-built customisations and novel innovations to ensure a rich customer experience while building a robust, future-ready network,” said Mr Vishant Vora, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited.
Vodafone Idea Follows 3-Pronged Strategy for Network Consolidation
Before the merger, Vodafone used to offer full-fledged 4G services in 16 circles, while Idea Cellular has 4G operations in 20 circles. However, within five months, it has merged finished 25% of network integration with its 3-pronged strategy. Vodafone Idea's 3-Pronged strategy involves- Make the better and dominant of the two networks in each circle as the anchor network, Complement anchor network with required support from the other network, and Further enhance network capabilities and capacity with the introduction of new technologies such as Dynamic Spectrum Refarming (DSR), Spectrum Re-farming, M-MIMO and Small Cells.
Vodafone Idea Network Integration: Key Facts
As noted, Vodafone Idea has integrated 25% of the overall radio network in the last five months. The telco stated it has completed Radio network consolidation in eight circles - West Bengal, Haryana, HP, Assam, North East, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (excl. Hyderabad), J&K and MP & Chhattisgarh.
The telco also stated that its 4G coverage has extended to over 750 million population on a pan-India basis. Vodafone Idea 4G ICR is now available in over 60K sites across all the 22 telecom circles and the telco also enhanced the capabilities of more than 4.7K sites through dynamic spectrum re-farming. At the end of January 31, 2019, Vodafone Idea switched off nearly 45K co-located and low utilisation sites.