Vodafone-Idea merger in final stages of approval, says DoT

Last Updated 27 March 2018, 15:10 IST

The merger proposal of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is in the final stages of approval, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Tuesday.

"FDI approvals are involved and also liberalisation of licences... There are a number of clearances involved. We are in the process of expediting it," Sundararajan told reporters on the sidelines of a Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) event here.

She also noted that the merger has already received the green signal from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) as well as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The merger - slated to create India's largest telecom operator in terms of customer base and revenue market share - is expected to be completed by June this year, subject to statutory approvals, the two companies had stated.

Vodafone and Idea, the second and the third largest operators in the country, recently announced the new leadership team of the merged entity that will have Kumar Mangalam Birla at the helm as the non-executive Chairman.

The two companies last week named Balesh Sharma as the new CEO of the merged entity.

To a question on telecom policy, she said the Department of Telecom is in the final stages of drafting the new National Telecom Policy 2018, and will thereafter place it before the Telecom Commission for approval.

5G technology

India will be ready with a full roadmap for 5G technology by June this year, Aruna Sundararajan said.

"A high-level forum on 5G, which includes global experts, industry experts, IITs, IISc, has already commenced work and done a fair amount of deliberation. By June, India will have a full roadmap ready on this," she said.

Insisting that India will be a front-runner in the area of 5G, she said that expert panel is deliberating on the vision, goals, and roadmap on 5G, and will also look at related areas of spectrum policy, regulatory regime, pilot programmes and the test bed.

(Published 27 March 2018, 14:58 IST)

Follow us on