Fundraising issues and outstanding dues reportedly hampering Vi 5G deals

23 Sep 2022

Indian cellco Vodafone Idea (Vi) is reportedly encountering difficulties in securing vendor contracts for the rollout of 5G networks. The Economic Times cites people familiar with the matter as saying that equipment suppliers and infrastructure operators are asking that Vi clear outstanding dues and provide up-front payments for future contracts. The operator has outstanding dues totalling roughly INR130 billion (USD1.63 billion) with vendor partners Nokia and Ericsson and towercos Indus Towers and American Tower Corporation (ATC). Whilst rival providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) have unveiled plans to launch 5G services over the next month, Vi has yet to announce a timeline for its 5G rollout. One source claimed that Vi has not pushed to close any 5G deals yet, as it is still pursuing fresh fundraising options. The claims echoed similar comments from Vi’s CEO that the operator would finalise its full 5G plans only once it has lined up new bank loans and inked the necessary equipment procurement deals. Vi is currently looking to raise around INR200 billion in new debt and equity but has not finalised any fundraising agreements.

India, Vi (Vodafone Idea Limited, VIL)