Vodafone India has received an equity infusion of Rs 47,700 crore ($7.15 billion) from Vodafone Group in the first half of the current fiscal, the company announced today.
The announcement comes just a few days ahead of the biggest-ever telecom spectrum auction, in which Vodafone has submitted an EMD (earnest money deposit) of about Rs 2,800 crore.
"This equity infusion of Rs 47,700 crore, which we believe is the largest ever in India, will enable Vodafone India to continue its investments in spectrum and expansion of networks across various technology layers delivering the best of experience to our hundreds of million customers," said Sunil Sood, MD and CEO, Vodafone India.
The announcement comes as Vodafone is gearing up for a tariff war with Reliance Jio along with Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio announced its services earlier this month, touting free calls and cheaper data prices, escalating a price war with incumbents operators.
In the backdrop of Reliance Jio offers, incumbent operators are expected to cut rates to keep their subscribers, especially the mid-and high-level users, which may hurt their financials in the months ahead.
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio announced its services earlier this month, touting free calls and cheaper data prices.
Vodafone India is a 100 per cent fully owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group.
The telecom service provider also announced today that it has crossed the milestone of 200 million customers in India around 200 million customers in the country. Over half of its customers (107 million) come from rural India.
The company has around 22.5 per cent revenue market share.
"With our commitment to support the Digital India vision, we are building one of the most modern and scalable telecom networks to deliver connectivity and the Vodafone SuperNet™ experience to all, for both voice and data," Sood said.
“We are judiciously deploying a portfolio of technologies- 2G, 3G, 4G and IOT – to cater to the myriad connectivity needs of our retail and enterprise customers across the country. We have successfully increased our revenue market share by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of current fiscal,” he further said.
Seven telecom service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Aircel and Tata Teleservices are participating in India's biggest-ever telecom spectrum auction that will start from October 1.
The total amount of spectrum that will be offered for sale is 2,354.55 MHz. Overall, based on the reserve price, the mop up is expected to be Rs 5.66 lakh crore.
The 2,300-plus MHz of airwaves on the block for telecom operators is in seven bands -- 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz -- as against 470.75 MHz in the previous round, which is set to fetch the exchequer $17 billion during its tenure.
The timetable of the auction has put the mock auction dates on September 26 and 27 and the start of actual auction from October 1.
The government has decided to allot the right to the spectrum won through auction for 20 years.