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Vodafone Idea Limited

  (Redirected from Idea Cellular)

Vodafone Idea Limited[6][7] (formerly Idea Cellular Limited) is India's largest telecom operator,[8] with its headquarter based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.[9][10] Vodafone Idea is a pan-India integrated GSM operator offering 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services under two brands named Vodafone and Idea. Vodafone Idea also provides services including Mobile payments, IoT, advanced enterprise offerings and entertainment, accessible via both digital channels as well as on-ground touch points, centers across the country. [11] The company's vision is 'to create world class digital experiences to connect and inspire every Indian to build a better tomorrow'.[12] As of July 2018, Vodafone Idea has 38.37% market share in India with 443.94 million subscribers, making the largest mobile telecommunications network in India and second largest mobile telecommunications network in the world.[7] Vodafone Idea has a broadband network of 340,000 sites, distribution reach of 1.7 million retail outlets.[11]

Vodafone Idea Limited
Traded as
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessor Vodafone India
Idea Cellular Limited
Founded 1995; 23 years ago (1995)
Headquarters Mumbai (Corp.)[1] [2]
Gandhinagar (Reg.)
Key people
Kumar Mangalam Birla
Balesh Sharma
(Chief Executive Officer)
Akshaya Moondra
(Chief Financial Officer)
Ambrish Jain
(Chief Operations Officer) [3][4]
Products Mobile telephony, wireless broadband
Revenue Decrease 35,475.7 crore (US$4.9 billion) (2016)[5]
Decrease 10,291.9 crore (US$1.4 billion) (2016)[5]
Decrease -831.1 crore (US$−120 million) (2016)[5]
Members 443.94 million (July 2018)
Parent Vodafone Group
Aditya Birla Group

On 31 August 2018, Vodafone India merged with Idea Cellular,and was renamed as Vodafone Idea Limited. However, the merged entity would continue using both the Idea and Vodafone brand.[6] Currently, the Vodafone Group holds a 45.1% stake in the combined entity, the Aditya Birla Group holds 26% and the remaining shares will be held by the public.[7] Kumar Mangalam Birla heads the merged company as the Chairman, with Mr. Balesh Sharma as the CEO.[11]



Vodafone Idea Limited started its journey in 1995 as Birla Communications Limited with GSM licenses in Gujarat and Maharashtra circles. In 1996 it changed its name to Birla AT&T Communications Limited following the joint venture between Grasim Industries and AT&T Corporation. In 2001 it changed its name to Birla Tata AT&T as a joint venture between Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group and AT&T Wireless. The company named its brand Idea in 2002.[13] Following AT&T Wireless' merger with Cingular Wireless in 2004, Cingular decided to sell its 32.9% stake in Idea. This stake was bought by the remaining two stakeholders equally.[14] Tata forayed into the cellular market with its own subsidiary, Tata Indicom, a CDMA-based mobile provider and in April 2006, Aditya Birla Group announced the acquisition of the 48.18% stake held by Tata Group at INR 40.51 a share amounting to INR 44.06 billion with 15% of the stake acquired by Aditya Birla Nuvo and the remaining by Birla TMT holdings Private Ltd, both AV Birla family owned companies. Malaysia based Axiata bought a 19.96% stake in the company in 2009.

Merger with Vodafone IndiaEdit

On 20 March 2017, Idea and Vodafone India announced that their respective boards had approved a merger of the two companies. The merger got approval from Department of Telecommunications in July 2018. On August, 30, 2018, National Company Law Tribunal gave the final nod to the Vodafone-Idea merger [15] The merger was completed on 31 August 2018, and the newly merged entity is named Vodafone Idea Ltd.[16][17][7] However, the merger did not include Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers Ltd. The merger created the largest telecom company in India by subscribers and by revenue. Under the terms of the deal, the Vodafone Group holds a 45.2% stake in the combined entity, the Aditya Birla Group holds 26% and the remaining shares will be held by the public.[7]


Vodafone Idea Limited competes with other major mobile operators including Airtel, BSNL, and Reliance Jio. Several smaller operators Telenor and Tata DoCoMo – with whom Vodafone Idea Limited competed are now in the process of Merging their businesses with Airtel[18], also MTNL. Vodafone Idea Limited has gone far ahead of the rest of these competitors with a Revenue Market Share of over 32.2%.[6]

On 19 May 2010, in the 3G spectrum auction Vodafone Idea Limited paid 57.68 billion (US$800 million) for spectrum in 11 circles.[19] Vodafone Idea Limited launched its first 3G services in 2011.

As of September 2018, Vodafone Idea Limited offers 4G LTE services on its own spectrum in all the telecom circles.

Radio frequency summaryEdit

Vodafone Idea Limited owns spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands across the country.[20]

Telecom circle coverage E-GSM
Band 8
Band 3
Band 1
Band 40
Band 41
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana          
Maharashtra & Goa          
Tamil Nadu          
Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh          
Uttar Pradesh (East)          
Uttar Pradesh (West)          
West Bengal          
Bihar & Jharkhand          
Himachal Pradesh          
Jammu and Kashmir          
North East          

Note: the above table contains Vodafone-Idea (merged entity) radio frequency details because they share their networks with each other via ICR (intra-circle roaming agreement) in some circles. For example, Idea has started it's customers in Delhi access 4G services in May 2018 via the Vodafone network.[21] [22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ investor-relations, Vodafone Idea Limited
  2. ^ investor support, Vodafone Idea Limited
  3. ^ Meet Our Management, Vodafone Idea Limited
  4. ^ Outcome of Board Meeting (PDF), Bombay Stock Exchange
  5. ^ a b c "Consolidated Result 2016-17".
  6. ^ a b c "Merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India completed - creating India's largest telecom service provider" (PDF). Idea. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Disclosure under Regulation 30 of SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015" (PDF). BSE. BSE. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  8. ^ 31, ET Now | Aug; 2018; Ist, 05 02 Pm, Vodafone Idea Limited: Vodafone Idea replaces Airtel as India's largest telco, retrieved 2018-09-04
  9. ^ "India's Idea Cellular Will Use Nokia's Cloud Core". SDxCentral. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  10. ^ "Vodafone Mini Stores in Mumbai Will Now Facilitate Tata Power Bill Payments via M-Pesa e-wallet - MySmartPrice News". MySmartPrice. 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  11. ^ a b c "Vodafone completes merger with Idea, creates India's largest mobile operator - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  12. ^ "Vodafone Idea Limited | An Aditya Birla Group & Vodafone partnership". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Cingular Allows Agreement to Sell Stake in Indian Wireless Service Provider to Expire". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  15. ^ Parbat, Kalyan; Sengupta, Devina (2018-08-31). "NCLT gives go-ahead to Idea-Vodafone merger". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  16. ^ "Idea approves merger with Vodafone India, to create India's largest telco". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  17. ^ Kurup, Rajesh (20 March 2017). "Idea Cellular board approves merger with Vodafone India; shares tank 9%". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  18. ^ Raj, Amrit (2017-10-21). "The shakeup in India's telecom sector". Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  19. ^ Pahwa, Nikhil (19 May 2010). "India's 3G Auction Ends; Operator And Circle-Wise Results". MediaNama.
  20. ^ Pan India 2016 spectrum holding data sheet (updated), Telecom Talk, retrieved 15 July 2018
  21. ^ Idea Cellular 4G Services Now Live in Delhi Via ICR With Vodafone, Telecom Talk, retrieved 15 July 2018
  22. ^ Idea to launch VoLTE in March, inks 4G ICR agreement with Vodafone, ET Telecom, retrieved 15 July 2018

External linksEdit