Vodafone and Idea, two of the country’s biggest telecom operators, have finally commemorated their merger, forming a single entity striving to become the biggest telecom operator in India, taking the title of ‘Vi’. That’s right, the British telecom operator Vodafone Group’s India business and Indian telecom giant Idea, will now operate under the new name and logo of ‘Vi’.
The two companies formed a single entity-Vodafone Idea, back in 2017, to better fend off attacks from the newest player in the market-Reliance Jio, which had launched data plans which cost pennies as compared to earlier costs. Since then, Vodafone, once the biggest telecom operator in the country with more than 400 million users, has lost almost 100 million of them, all while Jio managed to snatch away the throne of the biggest telecom operator in India. Idea had a similar issue, as it found itself unable to compete with the changing landscape of India’s telecom game, at least on its own. This is why the two companies joined hands and formed the new entity, which is today being rebranded.
While Vodafone and Idea have been two parts of the same coin for 3 years now, the entity has struggled to generate a profit since its inception, largely in part to the cut throat competition and the ‘overly’ budgeted prices of data in India. Pair that with the billions of dollars that were suddenly levied on Vodafone earlier this year for fulfilling AGR dues, the company pleaded that it might have to shut shop in the country if the government does not intervene.
However, with the opportunity that has been opened up with the COVID-19, as well as the extended 10 year deadline to clear its dues, Vodafone has decided to stay after all, and have a fresh start under the name of Vi. The company will invest in wireless 4G technology, and has got the approval of shareholders to sell stake worth $3.4 billion by selling shares and raising debt.