Nokia is already asking for an advance for 5G radio in India

26. 09. 2022 Monday / By: Robert Denes / Business / Exact time: BST / Print this page

V odafone Idea, India's third-largest telco, is likely to delay its 5G rollout as its equipment maker partners such as Nokia and Ericsson demand upfront payments for 5G radios. Telecom tower infrastructure partners Indus Towers and American Tower Co (ATC) have asked the telco to clear current taxes before entering into new deals for the 5G network.

Vodafone Idea owes Nokia around INR 3,000 million ($36,920,700) to Nokia, up to INR 1,000 billion ($2,306,900) to Ericsson in 4G network charges, around INR 7,000 ($86,140) Tower20-20 -30 million for companies. to American Tower Co. (ATC).

The telecommunications joint venture is the British Vodafone Group Plc. between. and India's Aditya Birla Group (ABG) is unable to raise new funding, resulting in network quality degradation leading to loss of subscribers. Being unclear on its 5G plans, the struggling telco could lose more subscribers when bigger rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio roll out commercial services, the Economic Times reported.

Experts believe that Vodafone Idea may lose premium/postpaid subscribers who may move to competitors to experience 5G. The struggling telecom operator lost another 1.54 million mobile customers in July, further reducing its user base to 255.1 million, according to data released by industry regulator TRAI.

"Equipment manufacturers have asked the telco to offset their 4G charges and have requested a 5G advance payment (APO) to purchase the 5G radio," the publication quoted a source as saying.

Another source told the publication that tower companies are wary of current charges and want clarity before considering new leases of their towers for the telco's 5G services.

Vodafone Idea is not aggressive in managing 5G deal negotiations. The report added that Vodafone Idea is not aggressive in negotiating 5G deals with vendors due to its current financial situation and lack of a funding agreement.

Jio and Airtel will launch the first commercial 5G service in various cities by the Diwali festival in October. Both the telcos have already shared plans to roll out high-speed broadband services in India within 18-24 months. Notably, Vodafone Idea has not announced any such plans till date.

Earlier - The telco's CEO Akshaya Moondra told shareholders that 5G rollout plans will be finalized only after new bank loans are raised and contracts to purchase network equipment are finalized. He also said the company's 5G rollout depends on use cases.

Vodafone Idea, which has been trying to raise Rs 20,000 crore ($246,138,000) for a long time, bought 6228 MHz airwaves in priority 16-17 in the recent spectrum auctions. Reliance Jio has bought the highest quantum spectrum of 24,740 MHz while Airtel has taken up 19,867 MHz spectrum.

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