Vi 5G Launch: Vodafone Idea Nears 5G Rollout Talks with Vendors, Funding Delay Poses Challenge

Remarkably, the two telecom heavyweights, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, are already moving towards 5G expansion and have an edge over Vodafone Idea.

Vodafone Idea (VI) has reached final talks with multiple network vendors to finalize plans for its 5G rollout, The Economic Times (ET) mentioned. To that end, the carrier has completed hardware testing of all major original equipment makers (OEMs) for its upcoming mobile broadband network, according to its fiscal year 23 annual report.

Vodafone Idea Chairman Ravinder Thakkar said the company is committed to expanding 4G coverage and launching 5G services in the country.

Speaking about Vodafone’s future plans, Takar said, “The company will remain focused on providing a superior data and voice experience and building a superior digital experience through its many strategic initiatives as well as continuing to invest to expand 4G coverage and capacity, particularly in its 17 priority circuits and service provision 5G as soon as funding becomes available.

In its annual report filing, the company said it was in contact with lenders and investors to raise funds to expand its operations.

The VI Annual Report added, “Your company has identified 5G clusters in Delhi and Pune where it has partnered with several OEMs to test the compatibility of available 5G devices.”

Significantly, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are already heading towards 5G expansion and they have an edge over Vodafone Idea.

On the other hand, VI has not announced its 5G launch schedule, thanks to delays in external fundraising. The company has been struggling to raise 20,000 crore, which it has been trying to do for more than a year now. ET The report said.

Talking about the current telecom market in the country, VI Chairman Takkar said telecom tariffs are still not sustainable and need to be significantly increased for business to thrive. He said tariffs must increase for telecom companies to invest in next-generation technologies.

First published: June 26, 2023 | 12:30 pm ist