Here’s an Idea that will really change some lives. British telecom giant Vodafone has today confirmed that it is in talks with Idea Telecommunications to merge its Indian unit with the Mumbai based company. If all turns out well, together, it will make the merger India’s largest telecom company.
The confirmation has taken the lid off months of speculation that the two telecom players were exploring a deal to fight back against Reliance Jio, whose arrival in the sector has ruffled many a feathers of existing players. “Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone’s 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea,” Vodafone said in a statement.
Analysts have estimated that together, the pair of Idea and Vodafone would command a combined market share of 43%, placing them ahead of Bharti Airtel, which would hold 33% of the pie. Since it still remains to be seen whether Jio’s aggressive marketing strategies will make it the primary connection for users in the coming months, analysts have predicted that the new player will hold 13% of the market share.
Since Jio’s arrival in September 2016, its free data and calling offer has led to existing players dropping their guards to new lows and have been luring subscribers with free additional data and calling offers on existing plans. What it means for the subscriber though is that mobile services will be offered at really competitive rates, in a market which is already known to offer cellular services at one of the cheapest rates in the world. Good days ahead for mobile users then. A lot of new lines on the operator’s forehead though.