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Vi starts upgrading 3G subscribers to 4G

By Aneesh Phadnis
September 28, 2020 11:15 IST
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Vi will continue to offer basic voice data services to its 2G users.

Vodafone Idea, rebranded as Vi, has begun upgrading its 3G service users to 4G in key markets as a part of its strategy to target revenue growth.

While Vi's 4G subscribers have grown 23 per cent on a year-on-year basis to 104.6 million as of June end, they only account for 37 per cent of its subscriber base of 280 million.

In case of Airtel, 4G users account for 53 per cent of its total customer base.


On Sunday, Vi announced that it has enhanced 4G capacity by consolidating the Vodafone and Idea networks and deployment of latest technologies enabling it to refarm large chunks of 3G spectrum to 4G.

This will allow it to offer faster 4G data speeds to its 3G users.

Enterprise customers using 3G based services will be upgraded to 4G and 4G based IoT applications and services in a phased manner, the company said.

Vi will continue to offer basic voice data services to its 2G users, it added.

In the first quarter, Vi reported an average data use per user of 13,124 Mb and average revenue per customer of Rs 114, which is lower than its peers.

The upgrade from 3G to 4G in key markets would help the company target higher growth.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “As our integration nears completion, we have already expanded our 4G coverage to 1 billion users, who can now avail faster data services pan-India.

"We believe our latest move will further catalyse the digital revolution in the country.”

Vodafone Idea Limited, which has seen steep losses and an erosion of market share over last few quarters, has chalked out a cost saving and revenue growth strategy with a focus on 16 key markets which accounts for 94 per cent of its revenue.

The company hopes to increase its 4G coverage in key markets from 83 per cent to 90 per cent by March 2022.

Photograph: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

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Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai
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