Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will continue to operate as independent brands in India after merger. This would be the largest consolidation move in the Indian telecoms.
As per Vodafone, the ongoing merger will not have to bear any tax dispute with the Indian government. Vodafone Group Plc’s Chief Executive Officer- Vittoria Colao said, “We are very complimentary. Idea is strong where Vodafone is weaker. Vodafone is strong where Idea is weaker.”
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group said that post merger will not lead any significant downsizing. The merged listed entity will release its colour over the next 24 months with the 26% shareholding from Idea Cellular, 45.1% from Vodafone Group and the rest will have with the public.
Birla further said that the Group has already invested Rs 115000 crore in decades in Idea and the promoters will fund for this merger instead of the group listing.
Colao reiterated that India has been an important market for the UK Company having around 10,000 engineers who work for Vodafone Global.
The merged entity will have around 400 million customers with two brands. This entity will have combination of mobile businesses of companies, tenancies, towers, wallets, payment banks, broadband offerings under different subsidiaries and it will have 11.15% shares of Idea in Indus Towers. However, it will exclude 42% stake of Vodafone in Indus Towers.
The merged entity will have new digital services, content and mobile payments, driving greater financial while advancing towards the speed of data services over 4G and 5G.
Colao said, “Together, there will be lot of efficiency of resources that are national and scarce. This will give us an opportunity to accelerate 4G and 4G plus but also 5G. We will be able to deliver speed in excess upto 150 Mbps”
The move came in force when the telecom sector is going through an implosion of sorts, as the entrance of Reliance Jio is bringing down the number of players.
The consolidation is expected to help the operational efficiencies and improved quality of service to customers. The regulatory regime has to focus on the benefits of effective competition to avail customers.
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