Ericsson, Nokia not ready to supply 5G equipment to Vi on credit: Report

In a development that could deepen the troubles for cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (Vi), European telecoms equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia have refused to supply it with 5G equipment on credit, The Economic Times (ET) reported on Thursday.

She added that Vi has not yet placed an order for 5G equipment with these manufacturers and is currently seeking to relax payment standards.

“Vi already owes Rs 3,500-4,000 crore to the vendors and while partial payments are being made, the company is nowhere near settling the total due,” the report quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying.

Recently, Ericsson supplied the carrier with 2G radios, but only after it made payment in full.

VI, according to ETMavenir and South Korea’s Samsung are also in talks for 5G equipment. Equipment from Mavenir is being used for testing in Karnataka circuit.

Ericsson and Nokia are among the largest suppliers of 5G equipment to Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, which are making rapid strides in enhancing their networks.

Both equipment suppliers are beneficiaries of the Centre’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. Here Nokia has its own manufacturing facility and Jabil makes equipment for Ericsson.

Vi’s financial troubles also made it difficult for the carrier to retain its users. According to data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), it lost 2.9 million subscribers in April.

On the other hand, Reliance Jio gained 3 million new users. Bharti Airtel added 76,328 subscribers during the month.

First published: June 29, 2023 | 9:44 a.m ist