Idea Cellular and Vodafone merge to become India’s largest telecom company

The telecom industry had a historic moment recently with the merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone as India’s largest telecom company. On the merger, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd., said, “This is much more than just about creating a large business.  We are partnering in this initiative to  build a formidable company of international repute, scale and standards.”

He said that, Vodafone Idea is expected to accelerate the  progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow. The company will continue to offer a wide variety of digital services and solutions under both popular brands.

Welcoming customers to India’s leading telecom network, Balesh Sharma, CEO, Vodafone Idea Ltd., said, “As India’s leading telecom operator with two popular and loved brands, the company has the scale and resources to ensure sustainable customer choice and introduce new technologies. We are committed to offer both our retail and enterprise customers an excellent experience while fulfilling their evolving digital and connectivity needs via new products, services and solutions. We will offer them more network coverage, more value and more excitement.”

The combined company is designed to be agile, digitally savvy and future fit, according to the partners. It is expected to be a professionally run world class organization, combining the best from both Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. The company is committed to create a truly ‘Digital India’ by enabling millions of citizens to connect, join the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow.

With 1850 MHz of total spectrum holding, over 200,000 unique GSM sites, the merged company offers superior voice and broadband connectivity across the country, covering 92 per cent of the population and reaching nearly 500,000 towns and villages. This extensive infrastructure will allow customers to remain confidently connected across the country and enjoy uninterrupted services even as it integrates and optimizes its network in a phased manner across circles.

In addition to superior quality voice and data service experience, customers will enjoy a variety of digital services and solutions including mobile payments, Internet of Things (IoT), advanced enterprise offerings and entertainment, conveniently accessible via digital channels as well as extensive on-ground presence through 15,000 branded outlets and 1.7 million retail touchpoints across the country.

Post merger scenario :

Largest voice network with over 200,000 unique GSM sites4 to cover over 1.2 billion Indians (92% population coverage).

Large spectrum portfolio of 1850 MHz and an adequate number of broadband carriers, to provide superior consumer experience across 2G, 3G and 4G platforms.

Widest distribution reach with over 1.7 million retailers and 15,000 branded stores Both Vodafone and Idea brands, which have strong consumer affinity across metro, urban, rural and deep interior markets, will continue to operate.

Merger is expected to generate Rs. 140 billion annual synergy

The equity infusion of Rs 67.5 billion at Idea and Rs 86 billion at Vodafone will create a company with strong  cash balance of over Rs 193 billion post payout of Rs 39 billion to DoT

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