Vodafone Idea rebranded as Vi two years after merger

The Indian arm of Vodafone Plc. had merged with Idea in 2018 but had maintained separate brands

Vi, Vodafone, Idea
Vodafone Idea is facing outstanding AGR dues of ₹50,000 crore | Photo: Vi

Vodafone Idea, two years after their merger, have rebranded themselves as Vi, announced MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar on Monday (September 7).

The Indian arm of Vodafone Plc. had merged with Idea Cellular in 2018. The telcos, however, had maintained separate brands until now.

“In less than two years’ time we have achieved the mammoth task of world’s largest integration. As the integration of the two brands is complete, it’s time for a fresh start,” reports quoted Mr. Takkar as saying during a live webcast.

He said the integration of the two brands is a culmination of the largest telecom integration in the world.

The struggling telecom operator is, meanwhile, facing outstanding adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of ₹50,000 crore. It has been losing subscribers and average revenue per user (ARPU) as well.

Vodafone Idea has welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed the telcos to pay their dues in 10 years, but stressed mobile tariffs need to be raised to give sustainability and returns to companies.

Last week, the Vodafone India board had approved fund-raising plans of up to ₹25,000 crore to keep the company afloat.

Related news: Vodafone Idea in talks with Amazon, Verizon to sell significant stake

Mr. Takkar said that the company, in the past, had not shied from raising tariffs, which are under forbearance but insisted that the regulator and the government should take a call on fixing a minimum floor price.

He said the entire industry is of the view that tariffs in Indian market are “unsustainable” and companies are selling below cost, something “evident from the Profit and Loss (P&L statements) and balance sheets of companies”.

Citing the massive growth in data and voice usage over the past years, he said tariffs must go up in the short term. “Consumers are ready to pay additional tariffs – which is something they were paying earlier – to keep the quality of service up. We believe tariffs have to go up at least in the short term,” he said.

Related news: AGR dues: Telcos get some relief as SC gives them 10 years to repay

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