Addressing the recent annual general meeting (AGM), Ravinder Takkar, managing director and chief executive officer (MD and CEO), Vodafone Idea (Vi), said that the telco will be able to launch 5G whenever spectrum is made available through auction.
Further, he added that Vi has upgraded its 4G network with 5G architecture and other technologies to make it 5G-ready. According to Takkar, the telco is working with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on 5G use cases and ways to conduct the trials and added that very soon it will get 5G trial spectrum. On the network expansion plans, Takkar said, that the company’s board has approved additional fund raising and Rs 150 billion debt funding and potentially another Rs 150 billion equity funding.
The telco’s CEO also clarified that British parent Vodafone Group’s recent win against the Indian tax authorities in the arbitration case will not have any impact on Vodafone Idea.
Meanwhile, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Vi, said that a pricing revival is critical for the telecom sector and added that the tariffs continue to be the lowest in the sector while data consumption is highest in the world. In the recent AGM, Birla said that that adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues have added to the financial woes of the telcos and that efforts are being made to resolve this through staggered payments, which have been mandated by the Supreme Court (SC).