Vi to complete equity conversion in coming weeks; achieves 5.9Gbps speeds in 5G trials

13 May 2022

Indian cellco Vodafone Idea (Vi) expects to complete the conversion of a portion of its dues into government ownership within the coming weeks, the Economic Times writes, citing Ravinder Takkar. As part of the government’s telecom package last year it allowed operators to defer payment of spectrum and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues for four years and to convert the interest arising from that deferment into equity; Vi accepted both options and the request has been accepted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). According to the senior Vi official, the net present value of the interest liability has been calculated at INR161.3 billion (USD2.09 billion) and confirmed by the DoT. Following the conversion, the government will hold a 33% stake in the company, whilst the company’s promoters – i.e. UK-based Vodafone Group and India’s Aditya Birla Group – will hold roughly 50%, having previously increased their stake to 74.99% via the allocation of equity shares in March this year.

In a separate development, meanwhile, Vi and Swedish vendor Ericsson have achieved peak download speeds of 5.92Gbps during 5G technology trials in Pune. The trials used a combination of mid-band and mmWave frequencies and the vendor’s Massive MIMO radios, cloud native dual mode 5G core for Standalone (SA) architecture and New Radio-Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) software.

Vi has also selected Nokia to deploy its DWDM solution to upgrade its transport network to support 5G. According to the Finnish vendor, the solution is compact and scalable and will allow Vi to optimise its fibre resources while ensuring 100G capacity, with upgrade capability to 200G and above.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), State (India), Vi (Vodafone Idea Limited, VIL)