Vodafone India, the country’s second-largest telecom operator, is just a step away from crossing the 200 million subscribers mark. As per the latest COAI subscriber report, the British telecom giant’s local unit had 199.38 million subscribers as of June. If it crosses the subscriber count, it would be the second operator in India to touch the milestone after market leader Bharti Airtel crossed the figure in Feb 2014.
The company which offers 2G services pan-India with a 3G footprint across 15 out of 22 telecom circles and 4G presence in 5 circles is looking to expand its 4G footprint in another 5 markets. Vodafone’s Indian journey began with the takeover of Hutchison Essar by purchasing Hutchinson Whampoa’s 67% stake after which they acquired the remaining through buying stakes of Essar and Analjit Singh led Max India to convert the unit to a fully owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group.
Out of the total 16 Metro, A & B category telecom circles; Vodafone ranks first or second in 10 circles, based on the subscriber figures. In the 6 C category circles, they do not have a strong footing though they are rapidly expanding their network & data footprint there. Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Maharashtra, UP East, UP West, Haryana, West Bengal & Gujarat are the key high revenue generating circles for the company.
Earlier, in April 2010; Vodafone India crossed the 100 million subscriber mark. Since then it has rapidly expanded 2G and 3G network to reach rural parts of the country. According to official documents shared by the company, Vodafone has over 59000 3G & 5900 4G cell sites across the country while its 2G footprint covers almost 96% of the total Indian population.