Idea Cellular, Vodafone merger completed

IDEA Cellular, which has been renamed as ‘Vodafone Idea Limited’) following the partnership between Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group, has become operational as India’s leading telecom service provider with a subscriber base of over 408 million.

A new board of directors comprising 12 directors (including six independent directors) has been constituted, with Kumar Mangalam Birla as the chairman. The Board has appointed Balesh Sharma as the CEO.

The group enjoys a pan India revenue market share (AGR) of 32.2 per cent, and a leading position in nine circles. The growing broadband network (3G+4G) with over 340,000 broadband sites will be covering 840 million Indians. This largest voice network with over 200,000 unique GSM sites4 will cover over 1.2 billion Indians (92 per cent population coverage).

With a Large spectrum portfolio of 1850 MHz and an adequate number of broadband carriers, to the group plans to provide superior consumer experience across 2G, 3G, and 4G platforms. This will be done through a wide distribution reach with over 1.7 million retailers and 15,000 branded stores to service customers.

Both Vodafone and Idea brands, which have strong consumer affinity across metro, urban, rural and deep interior markets, will also continue to operate.

Speaking on the occasion of the merger, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman Aditya Birla Group, and Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “Today, we have created India’s leading telecom operator. It is truly a historic moment. And this is much more than just about creating a large business. It is about our vision of empowering and enabling a new India and meeting the aspirations of the youth of our country. The Digital India, as our Prime Minister describes it, is a monumental nation- building opportunity. As Vodafone Idea, we are partnering in this initiative by building a formidable company of international repute, scale, and standards.”

Vodafone Idea will accelerate India’s progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow. We will continue to offer a wide variety of digital services and solutions under both of our popular and loved brands (Vodafone and Idea). Services – including Voice, Data, Mobile payments, IoT, advanced enterprise offerings and entertainment – will all be conveniently accessible via digital channels and extensive on-ground presence of 15,000 branded stores and 1.7 million retail touchpoints across the country,” he added.

Welcoming customers to India’s leading telecom network, Balesh Sharma, CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “As India’s leading telecom operator with two popular and loved brands, the company has the scale and resources to ensure sustainable customer choice and introduce new technologies. We are committed to offering both our retail and enterprise customers an excellent experience while fulfilling their evolving digital and connectivity needs via new products, services, and solutions. We will offer them more network coverage, more value and more excitement. My team and I look forward to your continuing support and invite you to enjoy the Vodafone Idea experience.”

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