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Kumar Mangalam Birla tells government he is willing to give up promoter stake in Vodafone Idea

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NEW DELHI: Kumar Mangalam Birla has told the government of India he his willing to offer his stake in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) to any state-owned or “domestic financial entity” to keep the stressed telecom company afloat.

Birla, VIL’s promoter and chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, made the suggestion in a letter to union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on June 7. VIL has a debt of around Rs 1.8 trillion, which includes deferred spectrum obligations and adjusted gross revenue liabilities. Its board had last September announced a plan to raise Rs 25,000 crore but investors have not been forthcoming in the absence of government support.

Birla’s letter highlighted the need for urgent measures from the government while offering to give up control of the company. “It is with a sense of duty towards 27 crore Indians connected by VIL, I am more than willing to hand over my stake in the company to any entity-public sector/government/domestic financial entity or any other that the government may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern,” Birla said in his letter.

Birla owns over 27 per cent stake in VIL, while Vodafone Plc holds over 44 per cent. The current market capitalisation of VIL is over Rs 24,000 crore. The two promoters have decided against infusing fresh funds in the company. Vodafone Plc has already written off all its investment in VIL following continuous

losses.

“To actively participate in the fund raising, the potential foreign investors want to see clear government intent to have a three player telecom market (consistent with its public stance) through positive actions on long-standing requests such as clarity on AGR liability, adequate moratorium on spectrum payments and most importantly, a floor pricing regime above the cost of service. In the absence of definitive steps in this regard, the potential investors have understandable hesitation to invest,” Birla wrote.

Birla further said that VIL’s financial situation will drive its operations to an irretrievable point of collapse without immediate active support from the government on these three issues.

Last month the Supreme Court dismissed petitions of VIL and Bharti Airtel seeking correction in alleged errors in calculating the AGR. VIL had calculated its remaining AGR dues at around Rs 21,500 crore after making a payment of Rs 7800 crore. However, the department of telecommunications concluded the company’s total AGR liability of around Rs 58,000 crore.

Source: Press Trust of India

5g

Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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Mobile Services

Vi launches new tariff plans for Digital India

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), India’s leading telecom service provider, has announced the launch of its new tariff plans for prepaid users in India. The new plans will be available starting 25th November 2021.

The new plans will start the process of ARPU improvement and help address the financial stress faced by the industry.

These tariff plans will allow VIL to continue improving India’s Fastest Mobile Network, verified by Ookla®, the global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications. Vi remains committed to play its role in accelerating the realization of the Digital India vision of the government.

In line with its commitment to providing its customers with simple and convenient products, Vi has curated an optimum range of feature rich plans for both voice and data. Customers can avail their benefits by selecting the plan best suited to their specific needs.

Users can visit www.myvi.in for more details, starting 25th November, 2021.

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Mobile Services

Airtel announces revised mobile tariffs

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has always maintained that the mobile Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) needs to be at Rs 200 and ultimately at Rs 300, so as to provide a reasonable return on capital that allows for a financially healthy business model.

We also believe that this level of ARPU will enable the substantial investments required in networks and spectrum. Even more important, this will give Airtel the elbow room to roll out 5G in India.

Therefore, as a first step, we are taking the lead in rebalancing our tariffs during the month of November. Accordingly our new tariffs as indicated below will come into effect from November 26, 2021.

Airtel’s New Prepaid Tariffs

Current Price (Rs) Validity New Price (Rs) Benefits
Tariffed Voice Plans
79 28 days 99 50% more talktime of Rs 99, 200MB data

1p/sec voice tariff

Unlimited Voice Bundles
149 28 days 179 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 2 GB data
219 28 days 265 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 1 GB/day data
249 28 days 299 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 1.5 GB/day data
298 28 days 359 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 2 GB/day data
399 56 days 479 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 1.5 GB/day data
449 56 days 549 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 2 GB/day data
379 84 days 455 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 6 GB data
598 84 days 719 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 1.5 GB/day data
698 84 days 839 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 2 GB/day data
1498 365 days 1799 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 24 GB data
2498 365 days 2999 Unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day, 2 GB/day data
Data Top-ups
48 Unlimited 58 3 GB data
98 Unlimited 118 12 GB data
251 Unlimited 301 50 GB data
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