Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) managing director (MD) Ravinder Takkar has rejected Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) call for a 2G free India. According to Takkar, 2G would definitely stay as it is an efficient and good service option for customers who do not require smartphones in a hurry.

Further, he added that 2G will not see a shutdown anytime soon and would continue in India like in many international markets as it remained a good, low-cost service option for a segment of customers, particularly the elderly, who still prefer feature phones and have no immediate need for smartphones.

Meanwhile, VIL’s MD said that the average revenue per user (ARPU) in the telecom sector is still far from being sustainable and the market has the ability to absorb further tariff hikes. Further, he added that hikes will fix structural issues faced by the sector and enable telcos to generate reasonable returns.

Takkar said ARPU is very unreasonably suppressed in India and well below the cost structure of all players and that tariff hike remains critical to improve the overall industry health. Further, the telco added that it does not wants to directly get in 4G devices and smartphones business, rather its strategy is to work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) alongside potential financing partners who can make devices available to customers on easy payment options.