Vodafone Idea hints at tariff hike, rebrands offering as ‘Vi’

Vodafone Idea Ltd. (VIL) signalled on Monday it was likely to raise tariffs to ensure sustainable operations.

“We believe the tariff has to go up,” said MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar, after the telecom operator unveiled a new brand identity ‘Vi’ (pronounced ‘we’). “This is very important to get the industry back on track. Since the merger [in August 2018], we have increased prices twice.

“The prices need to go up and we are not shying away to say that. Every player is selling below the cost and it is not sustainable. There needs to be reasonable returns [on capital],” added Mr. Takkar.

Commenting on the recent Supreme Court order directing telecom firms to pay the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues over 10 years, he said, “We had requested for 20 years but the honourable SC asked us to repay in 10 years. This is a good outcome. Our first instalment is in March 2022”.

The telco’s AGR liability exceeds Rs. 50,000 crore.

“With our new brand Vi, we stand committed to partner the government to accelerate India’s progression towards a digital economy,” said chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

The Rs. 25,000 crore the firm planned to raise would be adequate to fund its business plan, Mr. Takkar said.

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