Vodafone Idea’s 5G Plan Post Rs 18,000 Crore FPO

Vodafone Idea (Vi) is aiming to join the Indian 5G party. The telecom operator has set an ambitious target of launching 5G services in select cities within 6-9 months of successfully completing its ongoing Rs 18,000 crore Further Public Offering (FPO). This move comes as rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have already begun offering 5G services in some parts of the country.

FPO Funding Fuels Vi’s 5G Dreams

Vi CEO Akshaya Moondra acknowledges that the FPO is crucial for the company’s 5G aspirations. He admits that a lack of funds has hampered Vi’s ability to compete with Airtel and Jio, who have had a head start in 5G deployment. The FPO proceeds are expected to bridge this financial gap and propel Vi into the 5G arena.

Strategic 5G Expansion with Long-Term Vision

Vi’s initial 5G rollout will be targeted, focusing on specific pockets with high potential. This strategic approach will allow the company to optimize its network infrastructure and ensure a smooth user experience. However, Vi has a long-term vision. It aims to progressively expand its 5G network to cover a significant portion of its customer base. Moondra revealed plans to reach 40% of Vi’s overall revenue base within the next 24-30 months, indicating an aggressive expansion strategy after the initial targeted launch.

Financial Muscle for Network Transformation

To support its 5G ambitions, Vi has allocated a substantial chunk – Rs 5,720 crore – from the FPO specifically for 5G rollout. These funds will be used for critical upgrades to the existing network infrastructure, procurement of advanced 5G equipment, and other associated costs. Additionally, Vi has hinted at exploring further loan options from banks to potentially bolster its 5G war chest.

Catching Up and Competing in the 5G Landscape

Vi’s upcoming 5G rollout signifies a significant step towards catching up with Airtel and Jio. The successful completion of the FPO will be instrumental in providing Vi with the necessary resources to not only launch 5G services but also offer competitive pricing and data plans to attract and retain customers in the burgeoning Indian 5G market. While Airtel and Jio have established a lead, Vi’s strategic approach and financial backing from the FPO could see them emerge as a strong contender in the race to deliver the next-generation mobile internet experience to Indian consumers.

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