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Vodafone Idea CEO defends brand integration, says network is 5G-ready

Vodafone Idea’s chief executive officer Ravinder Takkar on Wednesday said the company’s network is 5G-ready and defended the company’s rebranding exercise after a shareholder raised concerns about advertising and marketing costs in the wake of its continuous losses.

Takkar said the launch of new single brand identity Vi would help the company to effectively communicate its value proposition to subscribers and expand customer base. ” We have integrated our brand and that has been well received. The intention is to promote the brand strongly which will allow our customers to understand the proposition we offer and the quality of network we offer,” Takkar said in response to a shareholder queries at the company’s annual general meeting today.

Takkar said the company has upgraded its capabilities to include features which are part of 5G architecture and would be able to roll out the services after auction of spectrum. He said Vodafone Idea is working with Department of Telecom on the issue and hopes to receive spectrum for trials soon.

The company is facing twin challenges of retaining its customer base and raising enough funds to pay Rs 58,000 crore adjusted gross revenue dues to the government in ten years. At the company’s AGM, one shareholder pointed out that the company’s survival was at stake and the board needed to introspect about what went wrong for the company. Shareholders also asked queries on competitive scenario as rival Jio launched aggressive post paid plans, the company’s strategy for 5G and to fund its expansion.

Takkar said the expansion of 4G coverage and data will be the focus areas for the company. He said the company’s 4G coverage increased from 50 per cent to 82 per cent in two years and the company plans to increase to 90 per cent in a few key circles.

Earlier in September Vodafone Idea’s board approved raising of upto Rs 25,000 crore through mix of debt and equity instruments. Business Standard

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