India remains the world’s second biggest telecoms market place, with approximately 1.3 billion mobile subscriptions

Vodafone Idea has revealed plans to extend its 4G mobile network in India to over 1 billion users, or 80 per cent of India’s population, by the year 2020.

Vodafone Idea is currently India’s biggest telco, with over 422 million subscribers, but the firm has big plans for growth in the coming years.

“We are committed to expanding our 4G broadband offerings to cover over a billion people by 2020. At present, the company’s two brands together provide 4G coverage to about 50 per cent of India’s total 1.3 billion population,” Vodafone Idea chief executive officer, Balesh Sharma, told reporters from The Hindu newspaper.

Vodafone Idea recently announced plans to raise an additional $3.5 billion (250 billion rupees) to fund network expansion projects across India.

"We are thus well on track to deliver the synergies envisaged at the time of merger. Going forward, we remain focused on accelerating integration momentum for higher synergy realisation; expanding coverage and capacity of our 4G network; providing the best of customer experience to our retail and enterprise customers; and in creating an agile and future-fit organisation. Shareholders’ support along with assets monetisation puts us into a strong position to achieve our strategic intent,” Sharma said.

India remains an incredibly difficult market in which to turn a profit, with telcos being forced to operate on wafer thin margins, while simultaneously deploying huge amounts of capital to fund 4G and 5G network expansion plans.

In addition to raising the additional $3.5 billion in capital and expanding its 4G network coverage, Vodafone Idea has also announced plans to sell off its full fibre broadband network infrastructure in order to boost its balance sheet.

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