Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are aggressively rolling out 5G and making huge announcements. Jio's website shows that its 5G is now available in 4333 cities/towns. Airtel has claimed that it has deployed 5G in more than 3000 cities as well. Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator in India, right now is still struggling to raise funds. Without funds, the telco can't really manage to roll out 5G throughout the nation. Vi has the highest subscriber churn rate amongst the private telcos.
The churn rate could get even worse for Vi if the telco can't manage to roll out 5G in the near future. Yes, while 5G is not the primary need of consumers right now, it is what the high-paying customers would want from their telecom operator. Airtel and Jio are offering unlimited 5G data at the cost of 4G services, this has made things slightly tougher for Vi.
Read More - Vodafone Idea 5G Expected to Be Launched in June: Report
According to a report from the New Indian Express, Vi is going to launch 5G in June 2023. The telco has also reportedly talked about funds from the banks. But nothing concrete has been revealed by the telco. Vi hasn't even met the minimum rollout obligations that the government had set for the mid-band 5G spectrum.
Vi needs fundraising in order to place commercial orders for 5G equipment with the vendors. Also, one of its promoters, the Vodafone Group UK, doesn't see any value in the Indian operation. Vodafone UK has decided to carry forward the investment value of Vodafone Idea as nil, which is a huge statement.
Despite being such a large market with very few players and a very old brand, Vodafone Idea has not been able to build a very successful business. The telco has been losing subscribers in every quarter that goes by. If things have to change for the telco, they need to change soon before it gets to a point of no return.