Vi in talks with Samsung to get network equipment for 4G/5G rollout | Company News

Vodafone Idea (Vi) is in talks with Samsung to secure network equipment for its ongoing 4G and 5G rollouts, the telecom operator said on Wednesday. Vi has already deployed Samsung’s virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) solutions in Chennai, Karnataka and Bihar circles.

“With an objective to expand Vi’s 4G footprint and introduce 5G, Vi and Samsung have been engaged for the last 12-18 months on network trials in Chennai,” Vi said in a statement.

In view of encouraging trial response and on-a-par performance with incumbent suppliers, Vi has extended Samsung deployments in the Karnataka and Bihar circles, it added.

The telco said these setups have enabled Vi to fulfil its 5G Minimum Rollout Obligation (MRO) in these three circles (Chennai, Karnataka and Bihar) with non-standalone vRAN architecture.

The company seeks to harness the Cloud benefits in the RAN domain. This unique blend of traditional RAN deployments and vRAN allows Vi to embrace new technologies and architecture with better performance and customer experience.

“We are proud to demonstrate our leadership in next-generation radio solutions (vRAN) that can deliver enhanced experience to our customers with better TCO (total cost of ownership). This vRAN deployment, delivered through Samsung’s innovation and joint technological strategic initiatives, is in sync with our technology transformation road map and enriched vendor ecosystem,” said Jagbir Singh, Chief Technical Officer of Vodafone Idea Limited.

Vi expects to be 5G-ready by the end of the next financial year (FY26) and will add more customers by upselling premium plans.

Meanwhile, it also expects to increase its average revenue per unit (ARPU) further by continuously upgrading its subscribers from 2G to 4G. 2G subscribers currently form a sizable 42 per cent of Vi’s subscriber base as compared to 28 per cent for Airtel, Nuvama Institutional Equities had said last month after a meeting with the company’s leadership.

Earlier this month, Vi’s Board decided to offer a Rs 2,458 crore stake in the financially beleaguered telecom operator to long-term vendors Nokia and Ericsson in a bid to partially clear outstanding dues.

At an issuing price of Rs 14.8 per share, Nokia will potentially receive an equity stake worth Rs 1,520 crore, while Ericsson will get stake worth Rs 938 crore.

First Published: Jun 26 2024 | 7:46 PM IST

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