Fiber Asset Monetisation – On the OFC front, the company has a combined portfolio of around 233,000 of OFCs post elimination of common routes including own built and IRU and the company intends to monetise its own built fibre and initiated transfer of own fibre to a wholly owned subsidiary. Vodafone Idea Limited has a total of over 156,000 Km of intra- and inter-city fiber routes and the company is actively looking at exploring potential sale of these assets to provide flexibility.
The merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular was completed on August 31, 2018 but the company is looking at several priorities like – Network Synergy, Fiber Asset Monetisation, Raising $3.5 billion new equity capital and Commercial launch of Aditya Birla Idea Payment Bank Ltd in 2018-19.
Network Synergy – Vodafone Idea voice business covers around 91 per cent Indian population by providing coverage in around 487,000 towns and villages whereas broadband services covers around 68 per cent Indian population by providing coverage in around 261,000 towns and villages. To provide network synergy, the company has given notice to around 66,000 co-located sites where current rentals will be lowered. The company is also focusing on spectrum consolidation. The company has a total of 1849.6 MHz of which 1714.8 MHz has been liberalised to be used for 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G.
Raising $3.5 Bn New Equity Capital – The company has formed a committee to evaluate a potential capital raise of up to Rs 250 billion or $3.5 billion. The equity funding will help the company provide flexibility to successfully execute its future strategy. Vodafone Group will contribute around $1.5 billion whereas Aditya Birla Group will contribute $1.0 billion. The committee is also looking at various options say Rights Issue, Qualified Institutional Placement and/or Preferential Share Issue and others for raising equity capital and it is expected to be complete in Q4 FY2019.
Commercial Launch of Aditya Birla Idea Payment Bank Ltd (APIPBL) – Presently, the bank is running pilot across five districts of Gujarat and Maharashtra to test business concepts along with its systems and processes. The Bank has launched Mobile Banking, Internet Banking and UPI Services and will also launch wide range of banking products and services when it plans to launch fun fledged services in different parts of the country.
All these priorities will help Vodafone Idea Limited to leverage its 403 million subscribers for leveraging data services, digital content and payment services.