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Vodafone Idea in talks with Ericsson, other vendors for 5G gear; shares rise 12% on BSE

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In Short:

Vodafone Idea (Vi) in talks with Swedish company Ericsson to buy 5G network gear. Vi’s shares jumped 12% on BSE. Vi plans to enlarge its footprint with 5G rollout and is discussing with network vendors. Vi raised over Rs 20,000 crore recently and is in discussions with banks for more funds. The funding will be used for boosting 4G coverage, capacity, and starting 5G rollouts.

Vi in Talks with Ericsson for 5G Network Gear Procurements

Vodafone Idea (Vi) has confirmed that it is currently in discussions with various network vendors, including Sweden’s Ericsson, to procure 5G network gear. This announcement led to a 12% jump in Vi’s shares on BSE, closing 7.6% higher at Rs 15.11.

Response to Exchange Query

In response to an exchange query, Vi stated, “…the company is enlarging its footprint with 5G rollout, and in connection with the same, it is in discussions with various network vendors, including Ericsson, for supply of network gear for the 5G rollout.”

Expectations from Ericsson

Ericsson India MD Nitin Bansal expressed optimism about securing 4G/5G deals from Vi, especially after the telco raised over Rs 20,000 crore through the equity route.

Upcoming Network Upgrades

Vi has accelerated talks with both Ericsson and Nokia to enhance its 4G network. Purchase orders are likely to be issued in June-July following the next round of spectrum auction starting on June 6.

Funding and Future Plans

Vi aims to secure funding of Rs 50,000-55,000 crore over the next three years to boost 4G coverage, capacity, and initiate greenfield 5G rollouts. The company is in discussions with banks for a borrow of up to Rs 25,000 crore and additional non-fund-based facilities of Rs 10,000 crore.

CEO Akshaya Moondra has outlined the utilization of the funds for capital expenditure (capex) to enhance network capabilities and introduce 5G services in key markets.

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