Business & Economy

Vi in race with Airtel as it’s ready to rollout 5G service.

Vi in race with Airtel as it’s ready to rollout 5G service.

Vodafone Idea Ltd announced recently that they’re ready to launch 5G wireless service.

After Bharti Airtel announced that they are ready to commercially launch 5G wireless service but waiting for a green signal from the government, Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi) to stay ahead in competition announced that they are too prepared to launch 5G.

The managing director(MD) and CEO of Vi Ravinder Takkar said that they are deploying equipment which is 5G-ready, both on radio and core, but the country’s 5G ecosystem is still nascent. Still they are well prepared for 5G rollout whenever the ecosystem develops, said at a post-earnings investor call.

Takkar further added to the analysts that the spectrum bands of 3,300MHz to 3,600MHz earmarked for 5G are expensive. The underdeveloped ecosystem and lack of clarity on use cases and technology is a concern for the launch.

As for the fundraise, Vi is actively discussing with their potential investors for a fundraise of up to ₹25,000 crore in debt and equity. “The talks with the investors are progressing well and expected to conclude this soon”, Takkar further added. 

On November 19th, right after Telco announced its fundraising plans in September 2020, a consortium led by US-based Oaktree Capital, including a few other private equity firms such as Varde Partners, proposed investing upto $2.5 billion in Vi through hybrid debt papers.

The Vi will not wait or depend on other telco commentators to raise tariffs, Takkar said

Vi is among the first mover in the industry to hike prices of data and voice services, as it was in December 2019. But on the contrary , Airtel’s management is into this hike in price.

Vi will be engaged for now in closing 3G network by re-farm it’s 3G spectrum to 4G and they aim to close by 2022 financial year.


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