Vodafone India on Thursday said it has received Rs 47,700-crore fresh capital from its parent Vodafone Group to fund business expansion.
“The money (Rs 47,700 crore) has flown into the company, which previously announced a plan to do a share sale, since April this year,” said Sunil Sood, managing director and chief executive of the firm.
According to Vodafone, this equity infusion through foreign direct investment (FDI) is largest ever FDI infusion in the country. The capital infusion comes at a time when the company is facing stiff competition from the Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm which on September 1 unleashed a price war in the Indian telecom industry by offering voice calls free both local and while roaming and promising to offer data at cheap prices of Rs 25-50 per gigabyte (GB).
The funds, Sood said, will be used to retire debt, bidding for spectrum that begins next week, expansion of network and deployment of next generation technologies. Currently, the firm’s debt stands at around Rs 25,000 crore.
“We are judiciously deploying a portfolio of technologies — 2G, 3G, 4G and IOT — to cater to the myriad connectivity needs of our retail and enterprise customers across the country. We have successfully increased our revenue market share by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of current fiscal. This equity infusion will enable Vodafone India to continue its investments in spectrum and expansion of networks across various technology layers delivering the best of experience to our hundreds of million customers,” said Sood.
Till now, Vodafone has invested a total of Rs 1,15,500 crore in the country since 2007 and has 1,37,000 sites. The telecom firm’s customer base has swelled to 200 million with over half of the customers (107 million) from rural India.
Sood, however, declined to comment on the firm’s initial public offering (IPO). Sood said the company is continuing to prepare for the share sale on “full steam”.
Earlier this month at least seven telecom firms have made earnest money deposit of Rs 14,653 crore to acquire rights to use spectrum in seven frequencies. The spectrum auction will begin on October 1.