IdeaCellular and the Indian unit of British telecom company Vodafone today announced a merger, creating India's largest telecom operator. The merger will create India's largest telecom operator with around 40 crorecustomers or nearly one in every three customers in the country.
The combined entity of Aditya Birla group's Idea Cellular and Vodafone Indiawill have the widest network in the country and pan-India 3G/4G footprint, the companies said in a statement. The entry of Reliance Jio has spurred a consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.
Analysts say that the new combined entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will bein a better position to compete with Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. "The landmark combination will enable the Aditya Birla Group to create ahigh quality digital infrastructure that will transition the Indian population towards a digital lifestyle and make the government's DigitalIndia vision a reality," said Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. Vodafone and Idea anticipate the merger to complete nextyear.