UK-backed wireless provider Vodafone India is likely to take over one or more of its smaller rivals once the government relaxes the regulations on mergers and acquisitions, the Financial Times writes. The head of Vodafone India, Marten Pieters told the paper that the cellco is well positioned to participate in the wave of consolidation that is expected to follow the changes to merger rules: ‘Vodafone is a natural consolidator in the market. We are only in telecoms, we believe in scale and we are financially strong.’ Pieters also confirmed that the company is considering a stock market listing, but is held back by its long-standing tax dispute with the Indian government.
In related news, Vodafone India plans to add 1,700 3G tower sites in Delhi over the next twelve months, the Economic Times reports. Vodafone’s head of business in Delhi, Subrat Padhi was quoted as saying: ‘We have 8,300 sites at present and [are] planning to expand to 10,000 sites in the next year. Current population coverage in Delhi is 100%.’