Vi hints at 5G roll-out in 6 to 7 months

Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom company in India, reported revenue of Rs. 10,673 crore in the last quarter, indicating a slight increase from the same period last year.

The company’s losses narrowed to Rs. 6,986 crore in December 2023, compared to Rs. 7,990 crore a year ago. Additionally, Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) witnessed growth, reaching Rs. 4,350 crore, and margins improved to 40.8%.

Funding Challenges and Debt Repayment

Vi faces impending challenges in balancing debt repayment and essential capital expenditure. With debts of around Rs. 5,400 crore due in the next financial year, including spectrum payouts, bank debt, and Other Convertible Debentures (OCDs), strategic financial decisions become crucial.

Network Expansion and 5G Readiness

According to the company, capital investments are focused on expanding the high-speed broadband network in 17 priority circles. VIL’s 4G network, covering over 1 billion Indians, boasts 125.6 million subscribers.

The company mentioned that discussions with technology partners for a 5G rollout strategy are ongoing, with advanced trials involving virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) and Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technologies.

It also noted that the 4G subscriber base experienced a tenth successive quarter of growth, reaching 125.6 million in Q3FY23. A new brand campaign, ‘Be Someone’s We,’ emphasizes emotional affinity and positive consumer connection, said Vi.

Business Solutions Recognition

Vi said that they have integrated utility bill payment functionality on the Vi app, covering electricity, water, LPG bills, FASTAG, and DTH or broadband subscriptions. Additionally, a ‘shop’ section on the Vi app has been launched, expanding services in collaboration with leading players.

The company noted that it is recognized as the exclusive provider of ‘Rich Business Messaging’ services, delivering 2 billion messages. Vi Business received Frost and Sullivan Best Practices Awards for leadership in Smart Mobility solutions and SIP Trunking services.

Commenting on the financial report, Akshaya Moondra, CEO of Vodafone Idea Limited, said:

We are delighted to announce the highest EBITDA (pre-IndAS 116) of Rs. 21.4 billion in the past 11 quarters. Aligning with the dynamic industry landscape and evolving customer preferences, we have revitalized our offerings and sharpened our execution strategies to compete effectively in the market.

Consequently, we have achieved consecutive growth in our 4G subscribers and ARPUs over the last 10 quarters. We continue active engagement with various stakeholders for fundraising to support essential investments in network expansion, including the rollout of 5G.