In Battle for Digital India, Vodafone Teams Up With Idea Cellular –

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In Battle for Digital India, Vodafone Teams Up With Idea Cellular –
By MARK SCOTTMARCH 20, 2017
The fight took another turn on Monday when Vodafone, a British carrier, announced
that it was combining its Indian unit with Idea Cellular, a local operator, in a $23 billion deal that would create one of the world’s largest cellphone providers, with roughly 400 million subscribers in India.
“The survival of 10 to 12 local operators isn’t a long-term reality.”
Under the terms of the deal announced on Monday, Vodafone
and Idea would merge their operations in India to create the country’s largest carrier, with roughly 35 percent of the market, based on subscriber figures.
“My wife and kids live here with me, but I video chat with my brothers in my village.”
The explosion of internet usage has created cutthroat competition among carriers seeking ever faster mobile networks
and cheaper data packages in a country where consumers are particularly sensitive to price.
Reliance Industries, an Indian oil conglomerate, is plowing billions of dollars into
a new cellphone operation called Jio that offers free data and voice plans.
While many in India already have so-called feature phones — rudimentary devices with limited, or no, access to the
web — operators are trying to coax people to invest in budget smartphones that can take advantage of mobile data.

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