Vodafone Idea had acquired spectrum in the 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands during the 2022 auctions

Indian operator Vodafone Idea has completed its 5G rollout obligation in all the 17 telecom circles across the country, local press reported.

The company had acquired spectrum in the 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands during the 2022 auctions.

Indian regulations stipulate that those operators failing to complete the minimum rollout before a specified date and according to the terms of the Department of Telecom (DoT) may have their 5G frequencies cancelled.

Vodafone Idea, which is a joint venture between Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group, recently concluded its $2.16 billion follow-on public offer (FPO) and also raised about $648.5 million from 74 anchor investors. Vodafone Idea recently said it expects to use the equity and debt funding to deploy its 5G service across India within six to seven months of securing the funds; it was also seeking funds to bolster its 4G network and pay tower vendors.

Vodafone Idea also recently announced its intention to borrow INR 230 billion in term loans and sought an additional INR 100 billion in bank guarantees, according to a report by The Economic Times. The carrier submitted its loan proposal to a State Bank of India (SBI)-led banking consortium with the main aim of seeking funds to upgrade its mobile broadband network infrastructure across its 17 priority markets in India.

With this funding, the telco aims to be in a better position to compete with rival operator Bharti Airtl and Reliance Jio Infocomm by enhancing its 4G coverage and deploying 5G.

Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already deployed pan-India 5G networks.

Vodafone Idea emphasized that while 5G rollout was important, its key priority was to expand and strengthen its current 4G coverage.

Swedish vendor Ericsson recently confirmed that it was in discussions with Vodafone Idea with the aim of securing new orders for 4G and 5G equipment. Recent reports stated that Vodafone Idea was also having talks with Finnish vendor Nokia.

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