Vodafone Idea confirms advanced negotiations with vendors for 5G

Vodafone Idea confirms advanced negotiations with vendors for 5G

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Vodafone Idea also said it has concluded device testing of all major OEMs on its upcoming 5G mobile broadband network

Indian operator Vodafone Idea confirmed “advanced talks” with a number of vendors in order to define its final strategy for the deployment of 5G in India.

In the carrier’s annual report, the telco also said it has concluded device testing of all major OEMs on its upcoming 5G mobile broadband network.

The company has partnered with various OEMs to test the compatibility of available 5G handsets in 5G clusters in the cities of Delhi and Pune. “The company is working towards rolling out 5G for consumers. The deployment will be accelerated subsequent to the consummation of fund raising,” Vodafone Idea said.

Vodafone previously said it was negotiating loans with local banks in order to secure the necessary funds to launch 5G.

“The company acquired 850 megahertz of mid-band 5G spectrum in its 17 priority circles and 5,350 megahertz of mmWave 5G spectrum in 16 circles. This will enable the company to embark on its 5G rollout journey. Vodafone Idea also strengthened its pan-India 4G footprint by acquiring additional 4G spectrum across the 1,800 MHz, 2.1 GHz and the 2.5 GHz bands in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab.

In its annual report, the telco also highlighted that it has been driving incremental 4G investments in the 17 priority service areas, which accounts for 98% of the company’s revenues. In the 4G field, Vodafone Idea has also added capacity through spectrum re-farming. “The company has been deploying several 5G ready technologies such as Massive MIMO, which will be central to the future growth strategy.”

In the report, Vodafone Idea’s chairman Ravinder Takkar noted that telecom tariffs in India remain unsustainable, and need to increase significantly to generate reasonable returns for carriers in order to promote investments, including investments towards new and emerging technologies.

Rival operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are currently providing 5G connectivity in thousands of towns and cities across India, while the government previously confirmed that state-run telco BSNL will be in a position to launch 5G in 2024.

India is forecast to reach 700 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2028, as local carriers are carrying out an aggressive strategy in terms of 5G deployment, according to the latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility report.

The report showed that 5G technology will account for 57% of total mobile subscriptions in India by that year, adding that eMBB and FWA are already emerging as the initial use cases for 5G.

“Fast-growing network availability across cities, attractive 5G pricing and the growing availability of 5G smartphones has seen 5G subscriptions reach around 10 million by the end of 2022,” Ericsson said.

“Meanwhile, 4G continues to be the dominant subscription type driving connectivity and fueling data growth in the region. 4G subscriptions are forecast to decline from 820 million in 2022 to 500 million by 2028, it added. Ericsson said that the expected number of total mobile subscriptions in India is estimated to grow to 1.2 billion in 2028.


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