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Vodafone Idea meets 5G rollout requirements, Telecom News

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In Short:

Vodafone Idea has completed its minimum rollout obligations for 5G services in 17 circles after acquiring spectrum in August 2022. However, its rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already exceeded the requirements. Vi plans to commence a full-fledged rollout in the coming months and is in the process of ordering network equipment from vendors like Nokia and Ericsson. The company aims to reach 40% revenue coverage in 24-30 months.

Vodafone Idea completes minimum rollout obligations for 5G services

Vodafone Idea (Vi) announced on Friday that it has fulfilled the minimum rollout obligations required to initiate 5G services in its 17 circles. The company acquired the necessary spectrum in August 2022.

Meeting Industry Standards

Companies that purchase spectrum in an auction must meet certain network rollout requirements and service standards. While Vi has completed its obligations, its competitors Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already surpassed these benchmarks with nationwide 5G rollouts.

“Vodafone Idea has completed its Minimum Rollout Obligation (MRO) across all Vi 5G circles on both spectrum bands,” Vi stated in a release.

Rollout Details

Vi acquired mid-band 5G spectrum in 17 circles and mmWave 5G spectrum in 16 circles. The rollout obligations for both bands are similar for the first year.

While Vi has met the minimum requirements, a full rollout is expected in the coming months. The company plans to expand its network with orders to vendors Nokia and Ericsson.

Financial Plans

Vi recently completed an Rs 18,000 crore follow-on public offer and is set to utilize nearly Rs 13,000 crore for capital expenditures. Additional funding of Rs 25,000 crore is anticipated through debt, along with Rs 2,075 crore from a preferential share issue.

Future Strategy

Vi aims to achieve 40% revenue coverage in 24-30 months. The company is preparing to offer 5G services in the non-standalone (NSA) mode, which requires lower investments compared to standalone (SA) networks.

Vi is also exploring partnerships with open RAN suppliers like Mavenir in certain regions like Punjab.

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